Anyone who knows me knows about my love-hate relationship with Starbucks.
I now have a new field office: Cocoa Bar (228 7th Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets). I read the galleys of my book there, did some last-minute copy-editing while enjoying a truffle and a caramel latte (with skim milk, at least), and have recently begun collecting thoughts for a possible second book while seated in Cocoa Bar's comfy chairs.
The shop opened early this summer in the space formerly occupied by psychadellic emporium Funky Monkey. (Even though Park Slope is about as liberal as liberal gets, Funky Monkey, with its Grateful Dead posters and tie-dyed T shirts, seemed better suited for places like Madison, Wisconsin or Burlington, Vermont than gentrified Brooklyn.)
Cocoa Bar offers free wi-fi, which might be reason enough to go there when one considers that the Starbucks just down Seventh Avenue - and every Starbucks in America for that matter - charges at least ten bucks to get online. Note to Starbucks: use your corporate might to get a major sponsor to offer free wi-fi access in all of your stores. In New York at least, enough signals bleed through walls and onto the street that paying to check my email while I enjoy a four dollar latte seems silly. Not that this move would convince me to switch loyalties when I'm in my neighborhood, but it does make me wonder: if the small java joints can find $40 a month for wireless service, why can't the jolly green-aproned giant?
But back to Cocoa Bar. I've met the husband-and-wife owners, Yanniv and Liat, and both are friendly, always remembering my name and the names of the many other people who have quickly become regulars.
I spoke to Liat recently and she told me about an event at the store, a night of readings, music, and other performances. It's also an event at which, thanks to Liat's kind invitation, I'll be reading. The first Cocoa Bar "Talent Show" will be held on Thursday, December 15th beginning at 9 PM. I'll be reading for about 15 to 20 minutes but not from the book. (Honestly, the book is a lot of fun, but a groom's guide, even one as great as mine, does not lend itself to coffeehouse reading series.)
While I'm comfortable in front of an audience, I'm a bit nervous for this as I haven't decided exactly what I'll read and will most likely create something new for the event. It's good motivation to get some my ideas into a form more organized than the pieces of scrap paper and journal pages that currently contain my random thoughts, jokes and musings. Either way, if you don't like what I wind up reading, you can always check your email.Posted by Doug at December 1, 2005 10:26 AM