Sunday, November 11, 2012


At NYC taco mini-chain Dos Toros, there's always this sign up about how you may only sit once you've gotten your food, i.e. no grabbing a seat upon entering. While I generally think lists of rules are HMYF (hipsters make your food) preciousness, in this case, it's a fine point. It's better for the establishment if people who have actually purchased something are the only ones sitting, and better for the people who've just bought a meal to be able to sit down to eat. So. After some of the usual haunts (Uniqlo, Housing Works bookstore), we stopped by a certain large-but-crowded Village coffee shop. No signs, alas, and all kinds of people sitting down while a friend went up to get the drinks. This is acceptable in a place with available seats, which wasn't the case.

But what's never acceptable is plopping down with your various Apple products (not plugged in, no wifi, so this wasn't post-Sandy recharging) and a glass of the gratis water from the establishment and no purchased anything, and no friend in line to get drinks. Dude had just parked himself, relying on the privilege inherent in looking like Ultimate Upscale Coffee-Shop Dude (whiteness, yes, but so much more) not to be asked to move aside.

So my husband and I had a little chat about Elaine and the eggroll dare in the Chinese restaurant "Seinfeld" and, in my attempt at becoming a more assertive person, I, beverage in tow, marched right up to dude and explained the situation. But his friend, he assured, was just two blocks away. Of course, as we all know, a friend who's said he's nearby is about to enter the subway in another borough, and we can safely assume that dude, in this situation, was exaggerating the proximity above and beyond whatever his friend had claimed, if there even was a friend. There was a bit more back-and-forth, and yeah, I soon gave up, as did a couple other women who appeared to be trying the same. On our way out, we saw that the friend had indeed arrived, and now it was the friend holding the table. Every man for himself.

Coffee shop breaches in etiquette, that I notice. And cute, fluffy dogs. Shortly after the aforementioned showdown, I was squealing at a couple when I noticed that these were not just any dogs but dogs being walked by Alec Baldwin and his new wife. Alec Baldwin in a really sharp suit. And yes, I watch "30 Rock." This is the second time in recent memory I've noticed a canine before the famous-person walking it. Not sure what to conclude from this.

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