Friday, August 17, 2012

Things that you don't do at the Stage: Talk on a cellphone


EVG reader Paul D. shares an anecdote from the Stage Restaurant, the beloved eatery on Second Avenue...

A young guy puts dry-cleaning on stool next to me and I realize, when he gets on his cellphone to chat... that he's the first person I can remember blabbing on his phone at this venerable institution in the years I've been going there.

OK, others might have received calls and had a brief conversation, but I can't remember anyone initiating a recreational conversation. I wanted to tell him that he was violating an unspoken taboo, but he was speaking very softly, though his conversation was predictably annoying. The other oblivious thing was his asking for sweet-potato fries (not) in this classic joint.

If there's a moral, it's having "a little more respect for what is already here"* aka when-in-Rome. Also (amazingly) there are still places and parts of the culture that have resisted the can't-be-alone-for-a-moment tech plague

*from a Times story about Montauk’s Hipster Fatigue

Anyway, why would you want to talk on your phone here? There's always too much to take in sitting at one of the stools (16? 18?), like watching Roman work the counter... getting to the coffee and back to the register in 2.4 seconds... or listening to the snippets of conversations going on, like the man, the other afternoon, telling his friend about an acquaintance in the Bronx. "He doesn't have a bed. His table is his bed."

He repeats this several times for it to sink in for his friend. His table is his bed.

14 comments:

aveaisessex said...

Things you DO do: calmly but tersely tell this gentlemen to take his conversation outside. Failure to do so was the real tragedy here.

randall said...

Ha. This reminds me of a time I was working in Lowell, Massachusetts. We used to go to a restaurant called Ray Robinson's, that we had nicknamed "Dirty Ray's." I'm pretty sure that it's the place where Dicky Ecklund and Mickey Ward are interviewed at the end of the movie "The Fighter." The menu was pretty basic, burgers, dogs, chicken fingers, egg sandwiches and stuff like that, but was really good and really greasy. Anyway, we took this new hire in there and the kid was as wet behind the ears as they come and we sit down to order and the fucking kid asked if they had a chicken ceasar salad wrap. I just about punched him in the face.

There's something to be said about a little bit of situational awareness, that people just cannot get by staring at a stupid screen all day.

Here's some pictures below that show that this isn't a place where someone orders a chicken ceasar salad wrap.


http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/cTykOd2NdI67nki05-3fUg?select=tsUplDyNW0sDf28yix3XiA#tsUplDyNW0sDf28yix3XiA

Shawn Chittle said...

LONG LIVE STAGE

Gojira said...

Keep your fancy $15 cheeseburgera, give me Stage Deli's superior version any day. Yum.

Anonymous said...

everyone needs to use their voice to speak out against this outlandish influx of social misbehavior, in context, while it is happening, to the offending parties, to try to maintain some semblance of civilization here! using that voice instead to complain on a blog is better than nothing and at least encourages the dialogue, but still...

Goggla said...

I went in last week for lunch and there was one empty stool. But, a woman had clamped her purse to the counter over it (with some kind of purse vice grip thing) and she glared at me when I dared sit there and disturb her bag. Thankfully, a man got up, so I took his seat and left the purse to its own VIP stool.

One of my favorite moments was a few weeks back when a kid walked in and demanded Texas toast. He had to explain to the room what that was before being told, "No."

BabyDave said...

Goggla:
People do that bag thing in bars all the time. It’s him/her on one stool and the damn backpack on the one next to him/her. If the place starts to fill up and barstool real estate demand heightens, you can pretty much count on these folks to be oblivious.
As for the Texas Toast kid, I am tickled that he was denied, but the stuff sounds tasty:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/texas-toast-recipe/index.html

Anonymous said...

> Stage Deli's superior version any day.

stage deli's anything is superior to anything anywhere else!

I-)

Autonomous said...

People who leave their bags on seats when there's little to no room left in a bar/restaurant deserve to get their asses fed to them.

Gojira said...

@Autonomous (heh) - I bet Roman could even make someone's ass tasty enough tht they wouldn't mind having it fed to them.

fabgear said...

I wrote the Stage post and one of the main things that held me back from saying something to the cell blabber had to do with respect for the people who work there. I'm not all that sure they care and if I scold the youngster am I driving away business they need? Walk into many an old time coffee shop or lunch joint and you typically don't see many 20-somethings there. This probably does not bode well for their future. Had the blabber been loud, I would feel entitled to complain.

(999) 999-9999 said...

So if there were two people on two stools having a conversation would it also be de rigeur to tell them to shut up?

What's the big deal about someone talking on a cell phone other than not being able to hear the other side of the juicy conversation?

(I'm assuming that the person isn't continuously screaming into the phone, which of course might be unpleasant for the neighbors.)

Anonymous said...

There have been countless anecdotes and probably even social research studies that show that there is something essentially irritating about hearing cell phone conversations- perhaps it is the person's obliviousness to their surroundings, their volume or the fact that it is one sided- who knows- but it sure is annoying and considered rude in most places. Anyone remember those Nextel things that were like cell phone walkie talkies? That was even worse!!!

But Honey, you know that thing you were doing last night, ..., yeah, that one said...

Studies show people are nuts.

OK, here you go then:

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