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.