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No Conversations Here!!!!!

14 Apr
No Conversations Here!!!!!

I have posted before that I frequent coffee shops every morning but Sundays. I have done this for many many years. As you read this post I am either at my normal early morning coffee shop with friends in my home town or have already been. For the previous 7 days I have been traveling and have frequented the local Starbucks. The same one at the same time each morning. I looked about for a small locally owned coffee shop but was not successful in finding one. The reason there are no small ones in the area is probably because we are staying in “Yuppieville” as Phil from Duck Dynasty would more than likely say. The area is very nice and clean and sterile and almost perfect in appearance. But these aren’t the main characteristics of a good coffee shop in my estimation.

There is just something missing in the flavor of the atmosphere in this Starbucks compared to the tucked away mom and pop places catering to the mainly non-hurried locals. Although to be fair, I do enjoy Starbuck’s coffee. My favorite roast is the “Blonde”. Shhhhh, Please don’t tell my local coffee shop this tidbit.

A truly great coffee shop is lively with people involved with others. Folks involved with laughter, jokes being told, perhaps “gossip”, maybe a few “lies”, news being discussed, and a myriad of other topics. Personal involvement is the key ingredient – human to human. For the past few weeks in my regular place I have had a five year old boy running a race across the building. He got new shoes and you know you can always run faster in new shoes when you are young. Plus, it’s a way for him to earn an extra half dollar for the effort.

In my 5 straight days being in the Starbucks I was not able to strike up a single conversation. I’m known as a cordial person and have never had a problem getting to know people. “Good mornings” were spoken to those around me and I received a few back. Several had headsets on so naturally my greeting went unheard.

I’m not exactly sure why the problem. I have been a stranger in many coffee shops in different locales. I almost always have been invited to the locals table so that they can find out about me. We have new people come into my regular place and before they walk out we usually have struck some type of conversation.

A lot of it is probably being on the west coast in a major area. People seemed to be in a big hurry to get in and get out. I think I may need to talk with Culturemonk about this. He is probably the number 1 coffee shop blogger on WordPress. He surely could offer me some insights into this.

I don’t want to blame this on Starbucks either. As soon as I leave my local coffee shop I usually drive 6 miles to Starbucks and get me a cuppa “Blonde” roast, and I am greeted either by my name or “the gardener guy”.

It sure is good to be back home, but it sure was great to visit the “kids”.

 

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72 responses to “No Conversations Here!!!!!

  1. larry trasciatti

    April 14, 2014 at 5:50 am

    I’ve never liked Starbucks. I go to a small local coffee shop daily where they have fancy ice cream & pastries. My brother in law goes to one with nice waffles. It’s a really nice environment in those places

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 6:40 am

      I have found Starbucks of all flavor since suppose depending upon the area. Your places sound nice. My regular is a Daylight Donut shop. Have a great day!!!

      Like

       
  2. paulfg

    April 14, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Levi, I am so glad you mentioned Kenneth – his name was repeating in my head as I was reading your words! I hope by pasting a link to his latest post, he sees this one – I would be fascinated by a conversation between you both on this post!! 🙂

    http://culturemonk.com/2014/04/12/apparently-bars-like-bloggers-really/

    Let the conversation continue (and I hope you don’t mind me link-bombing your post)

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 6:06 am

      Morning Paul. Kenneth follows and reads most of my posts so I thought he would probably read it. Thanks for linking though.

      Like

       
      • paulfg

        April 14, 2014 at 6:32 am

        Sorry Levi!!

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          April 14, 2014 at 6:35 am

          Paul nothing to be sorry of. Thanks for doing it. No problem. How did your daughter fare in the marathon?

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          • paulfg

            April 14, 2014 at 6:38 am

            5 hours 2 minutes. Roughly 30 minutes longer than she had planned. On the day, all expectations out of the window and just a wondrous experience experienced!! Thank you.

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            • Levi Thetford

              April 14, 2014 at 6:45 am

              At least she finished and had a great experience. Well done!!!!!

              Like

               
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Hey Paul I do appreciate you linking this. How do you do it? I’m not familiar with it

      Like

       
      • paulfg

        April 14, 2014 at 8:35 am

        🙂 You are asking someone who does the clunky way! I have given up trying to add the link and typing text “over the link” (an option when editing your post). That is the best way! But I always ended up with weird stuff happening on Preview.

        Now I just find an open the post/page I want to see … copy the web browser address … and paste it in to mine at the point I want it to appear. I keep seeing the “proper way” in others’ posts. So I guess I am in the minority in understanding this one.

        (WP sees the web page address – which ever way you do it – and sends that person a “ping back approval” request – i.e. someone wants to link to your page – are you happy this happens?)

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          April 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

          Ok I understand. It doesn’t bother me that this happens. I wasn’t sure if it was a regular repost request or what. I have only really been on WP for 5 months or so and haven’t played with it much. I appreciate you Paul. Hope the rest of your day is a pleasant one!!!!

          Like

           
  3. Gill McGrath

    April 14, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Could this coffee shop be more of an evening coffee place? It looks a bit like an evening place to me! Could even get noisy later. Starbucks go when no one goes and it looks pretty functional in your photo. Just suggesting…. .

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 6:38 am

      Good morning. I’m not sure about the crowd there in the evenings. They had a good trade in the early morning I do know. Just quiet people. Lol

      Like

       
      • Gill McGrath

        April 14, 2014 at 6:41 am

        It just reminds me of something near me that has a different character in the morning to the evening! ‘Too civilised’ through to a little less civilised later. That is saying it nicely by the way!

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          April 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

          You are probably correct. I never go to a coffee shop in evenings and have not paid any attention to this. Thanks.

          Like

           
  4. neodecaussade

    April 14, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Dear Levi,

    I like posts like this one where it is your voice. The Spurgeon stuff is okay but your words are more interesting. Much like the coffee shop conversations I prefer to hear what you have to say. Keep up the good work.

    God bless,

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Good morning. I usually write something each day but I also post a Spurgeon every day. I have many that love him. I appreciate you reading my stuff. Hope you have a great day!!!!

      Like

       
  5. Rory

    April 14, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I’m afraid I’d be an unfriendly coffee shop patron. When I was younger, I loved to talk to people in coffee shops, and hopefully will again in a few years. Just right now, with a toddler and a 6 year old, I squeeze in so little work time. I think people are often using coffee shops for work spaces rather than social spaces, which is sad.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 10:06 am

      You may be a little young yet. I’ll trade you years. Lol. In the smaller local places in early morning I never see business being done. You’re a busy guy which I understand having 5 kids. Hope your day is a good one!!!!

      Like

       
  6. Michael

    April 14, 2014 at 9:31 am

    You paint a good picture, Levi. Welcome home.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Thanks Michael. Good to be home and to hear from you!!!!!

      Like

       
  7. Misty@ www.dancingintheweeds.com

    April 14, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I enjoyed this post very much. I also share your opinion as I’ve not encountered one single conversation in a Starbucks. I’ve not ever been able to get any inspiration inside one. It makes my insides as jittery as the coffee often does. Ha! I mostly have my coffee at home while reading blogs. Especially this April since I’ve been participating in the A to Z Challenge. I like small business coffee, corporate coffee just is not my cup of Joe. Oh and I have been enjoying having my coffee at home because the creamers I’ve gotten my hands on lately have been remarkable.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 11:19 am

      I agree with you. The corporate shops aren’t as friendly. I enjoy the conversation with friends early morning. Glad you have found creamers you enjoy. I have a severe dairy allergy so I can’t enjoy this simple pleasures any more. Hope your day is a good one b

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  8. "light and salt"

    April 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    An excellent post as always, Levi! The chatter at the coffee shops is something I haven’t given much thought to before now. I have found it harder to concentrate in the “bustling, busyness” of a public place. But that’s just me.

    I bring home my coffee, have it with my oatmeal, and I’m off to post…most mornings. Well, we all enjoy our own little pleasures of life!

    Take care and keep writing to us…

    Steve Pejay

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Will do Steve. You do the same. Hope the rest of your day is pleasant.

      Like

       
      • "light and salt"

        April 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

        And to you, my friend!

        Steve

        Like

         
  9. Elaine

    April 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I rarely go out to coffee shops of any kind in the morning except on the rare occasion that I meet up with friends. I should try it sometime at the local family restaurant in my town. Actually am going to be there for breakfast with friends one morning this week. What better time to start a new habit instead of always drinking coffee at home in the morning. Nice way to get an early start to the day since I am one of those retired people who finds it easy to sleep late and hang out in my pj’s til after lunch sometimes. Working on breaking that habit! lol

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Elaine I have gone to coffee shops most of my adult life. It is usually the best time of my day. Since I retired I have the same schedule I always have kept. Being an early riser we all leave by 8am. It really is enjoyable. Try it and you may like it. There are several that come in later that I see. My wife just started meeting once a week a year or so ago with her lady friends and really enjoys it. Have a good day!!!!!

      Like

       
  10. Anna

    April 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I’m not a Starbucks fan, but I realize many people like them. I love the “yuppieville” comment. It’s true! 🙂

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I think it is true too. But I do love their blonde roast coffee but it doesnt taste quite the same when I make it at home. I’m glad you looked at my blog today because I was having a problem finding you. I’ve bookmarked you now. I have a lot of followers and it’s hard to sort through them.

      Like

       
      • Anna

        April 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        I’m having the same trouble. Not that I’m complaining. 🙂

        Like

         
  11. Lana: Living with Post Concussion Syndrome

    April 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I am not a coffee drinker but I enjoy a nice cup of tea. When I left home more, I also frequented local shops. Starbucks is so over rated and will not get a cent from me.

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  12. Webby

    April 14, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    We have three Starbucks here in our little city. I frequent them all, and it’s always quiet. All the people are hooked up to something … be it the iPhone or iPad … and totally engrossed in whatever they’re doing.

    The interesting part is that in Tim Hortons [a Canadian coffee shop chain] the conversations always seem to be lively. I don’t know what the deal is with that 🙂

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      I don’t know. It must be a different kind of people that frequent Starbucks. I always go thru the drive thru unless the line is too long. On the occasions I have gone into the bldg I didn’t stay to drink my coffee. I have to say that the employees know me by name though and are very cordial. Thanks for your comments.

      Like

       
  13. vwoods1212

    April 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    The blonde is very light isn’t it? I tried it once but I need the dark brew to even get awake. Hope you don’t do too much in the day, it can wreck your nerves a bit. 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      April 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      It is a medium blend. If they are out of it I drink the Pike blend. I have always drank 5-6 cups a day since I was 12. It doesn’t effect my nerves. Fortunate I guess. Hope you are doing well. Have a nice evening 🙂

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  14. howdowefeedtheworldsstarving

    April 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm

     
  15. toniandrukaitis

    April 14, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    My town, McKinney has a couple great individually owned coffee shops on the square. The owners and staff not only know me by name, but we are friends. This can’t be found in the big chains. Sometimes great atmosphere trumps great chain coffee.

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    • Levi Thetford

      April 15, 2014 at 10:12 am

      I go for the atmosphere first. I’m with you. Maybe we should open one up that has both. Lol. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a great day:)

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  16. sherijkennedyriverside

    April 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I at least stop in and often spend time at a coffee shop every day. There’s a definite Starbucks subculture on the West Coast with a different code than the local shops. It reminds me of the general difference between inner city and rural places. At Starbucks the baristas can be friendly but usually won’t talk about anything. People will nod or smile if they are confronted but are there to keep to themselves or socialize online and most likely want to accomplish something not chat or take on something or someone new. They have an agenda.
    The local shop, like rural places notice faces and differences. The baristas will have conversations about something when they have time. The patrons are either looking for or open to connection, and they are often in pairs or groups talking. They may still study in solitude or socialize on the net, but their energy is outward and interested in their environment and the people who interact there. They will often jump into a conversation or at least laugh with others when something happens in the shop.
    Great observations you have here. 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      April 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Your observations are right on from what I could see. I am in a rural area in Oklahoma so I know already that the rest of the country is not as it is here. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a pleasurable day!!!!

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  17. SLIMJIM

    April 15, 2014 at 4:28 am

    In the West Coast, you can even go to a Mom and Pop Cafe and have people still not greet and talk to one another.
    I was forced to be at Starbucks because of circumstances last week and there was one random stranger talking to someone next to him and the two of them had a good conversation and you can tell people around them thought they were, well weird.
    That’s the West Coast I suppose.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

      I think it is the locale too and just the difference in the way people live. I’m thankful I live where I do. I guess if I was from the West Coast I wouldn’t have even noticed it. Have a great day Friend 🙂

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  18. internet download manager 6.18 Build 9 free download full version

    April 15, 2014 at 6:16 am

    We stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking at your
    web page again.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 16, 2014 at 9:37 am

      I’m so glad to have you reading my blog. Hopefully it will be a blessing to you. Thanks so much.

      Levi

      Like

       
  19. Ingrid Lochamire

    April 15, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I love nothing more than a quiet corner in a coffee shop when I want to do a little people watching. You’re spot on with the comment that local shops are more lively because of the regulars. My favorite, Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee in Sturgis, Michigan, is a place I can always count on seeing people I know — and it’s not even my hometown! Thanks for following my blog, Levi. I can see I’m going to enjoy yours. God bless!

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 15, 2014 at 9:54 am

      There are times that I like a quiet spot but my daily routine with my buddies is one of the highlights of my day. I’m glad you have a favorite place. Isn’t it amazing the people you can see in unfamiliar places. I wrote about this awhile back. I have talked to people I knew in Paris, Mexico City, and many other places. I just talked to a fellow I knew in Phoenix Saturday. We were both a long way from home. I do know a lot of people and you must too. Have a great day!!!!

      Like

       
  20. cgdtaylor

    April 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Sadly what you have experienced is a growing trend in the UK too. Residents in western societies seems more and more drawing in on themselves as individuals fuelled it has to be said by digital communications. The result is that many move around their day making little human contact – no wonder there is a spread of individualism at the expense of community.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post. .

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      April 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you for reading and expressing. I think large populations centers may have

      Like

       
    • Levi Thetford

      April 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Sorry I hit the wrong button on previous one. I think that maybe the large population areas are different from smaller communities. I live in a smaller area and it is nothing like this. Digital does have something to do with it and the younger bunch will relate much different than the previous generations. Thanks for the great comments.

      Like

       
  21. sporterhall

    May 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    An eye-opening post…as always! I can only think….what a chance they passed up in not getting to know you or about you. It always amazes me how different the experiences can be from one place to the next. But, at the end of the day…there’s no place like home!

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      May 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      You are so right. I’m in my easy leather chair right now but will be in Ca. In a few days and will spend the final 17 days of July in NYC. Both will probably be similar to that post I’m afraid. I will try new tactics this time. Lol. Thanks a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • sporterhall

        May 27, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        You are welcome! I wish you safe and blessed travels. How nice to do some traveling. CA is one of the places on my list of places to go being that I’ve never been. It’s been many years since I’ve visited the ‘Big Apple’ – NYC but is quite the experience. Everyone is in a rush there…I wonder if they ever stop and smell the roses……

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          May 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

          Since I’ve “retired” we travel a lot more. It’s just a few days around San Diego. It will just be me doing some ministry work in NYC. I’ve been before several times. Not many roses are smelled from what I see.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • sporterhall

            May 27, 2014 at 9:51 pm

            I’m afraid you are right about the lack of roses being smelled in NYC. Maybe you will need to plant some as.I’m sure you will plant some invaluable seeds while you are there….

            Like

             
            • Levi Thetford

              May 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

              That is my only mission to be there. We will see if The Lord blesses it?

              Like

               
  22. Equipping The Saints

    June 1, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you for your like of my post, “Remember When.” Your kindness is very humbling.

    Senior Pastor, Equipping The Saints
    Philippians 3:10 “That I May Know Him”
    http://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/

    Like

     
  23. The Lazurus Project

    June 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    My friend Doug and I meet at a local, congenial MacDonalds. for friendship, accountability, study, prayer and witness. We’ve been doing it for two years, I look forward to our weekly get-together. usually around 4 PM. We have befriended many regulars who come at that time who know our testimony. Recently a pastor approached us and said she heard our conversation and said how encouraging it was to hear two men sharing the things of God openly. But that’s just one of many.

    Wade.

    Like

     
  24. Alex Jones

    July 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Corporate venues like Starbucks in my opinion are artificial and sterile, having no atmosphere or individuality. It is a great shame some locations have no coffee shops apart from the corporate coffee factories like Starbucks. My town of Colchester is saturated with coffee shops of all kinds.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      July 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Good Alex. I’ve always been a coffee shop guy and have been to many. Like you say, there are many places that don’t have any local places but the national chains. I’ll be in NYC for 17 days starting Saturday. I’ll probably have a report on something there. Thanks for the comment. Have a great day!!!

      Like

       
  25. Elizabeth Melton Parsons

    September 16, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I much prefer the small coffee shop/diners where everyone seems to know everyone and the conversation never lags. I think a lot of the no conversation thing boils down to the fact that most of us are distrustful of strangers and when one speaks to us to say more than a casual good morning, we tend to be cautious.

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    • Levi Thetford

      September 16, 2014 at 7:01 am

      Good morning Elizabeth. Small shops are better to me as well. I might home shop we invite strangers to sit with us but it is a table of guys. Manhattans coffee shops are pretty friendly which is surprising to me.

      Like

       
  26. charlypriest

    October 12, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Got to say that being away from the U.S for a long time a do miss those Starbucks.

    Funny, so you too see Duck Dynasty. Best one is Si with one quote I remember he was talking about something and ends up saying “it gives me brain sneeze” and like those saying these guys have millions.

    Back to Starbucks,I miss my coffee moca(if I remember correctly the name) I didn´t even know there where old traditional coffee shops in the U.S. Always saw Starbucks right around each and every corner I passed.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      October 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Yep, I watch Duck Dynasty and drink Starbucks too. Lol. I still go to my regular coffee shop every morning. Have a great week.

      Like

       
  27. Anna Waldherr

    December 13, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas, Levi!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      December 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      Thanks so much Anna. I hope the same for you. I’m convalescing from a ruptured appendix and to make matters worse I came down with shingles. It’s been a long 2 1/2 weeks but I’m well. Just need to regain strength now. God has been gracious to me. Stay safe my friend!!!! 😊

      Like

       

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