Starbucks isn’t crowded on Thursday, February 25th, at around 9:30, but it wasn’t empty either. I sat in there for a few minute surveying the area, wondering where to start my observations. It is a somewhat quiet, peaceful environment. Over by the counter drinks are being called. The barista said, “White Chocolate Mocha”. A girl gets up from her seat to grab it.
Suddenly, another girl walks in. She has brown hair and her backpack and jacket are the same shade of tan. She drops her stuff, takes off her jacket at an empty table, and goes up to order.
Three boys in uniform, who were waiting for their drinks, split up. Two of them leave a few seconds before the third one. I noticed, after seeing them, that there were quite a few uniformed boys and girls in Starbucks – both in camo and in, what I’m assuming, their workout uniform (blue shorts and a blue sweat jacket). I assumed they have training today; I’m not sure how the ROTC program works.
The man who normally works here is dressed in regular clothes and on the customer-side of the counter for once. He’s holding three drinks, laughing with one of his coworkers. He is wearing a tan hat – the kind of hat old men wear when they go out in the cold.
There are three girls at a very long table, two on one side and one on the other. The two girls seem like they are talking about homework as one leans over to see the other’s book. One, with dark hair, wears a vest, the other is wearing a black shirt. There are two boys standing next to the table. Two are in the blue uniform and one is in camo.
Another girl walks in dressed in all black so her white headphones stand out. She goes to get a drink. A boy across from me is wearing a black shirt. He is on his laptop with white headphones and seems to be watching something funny as he smiles at his screen. There is a girl across from him, diagonal to me, in a white sweater with a black shirt underneath. She has been on her phone since I got here.
As I look back at the long table, another girl plops down in-between the three already sitting. She is wearing a jacket with fur on her hood and also has white headphones on. She is carrying a very small drink.
All the way in the corner, there is a boy and a girl studying together. He leans over the table to, I assume, help her with something. He has a white jacket on with a black stripe and she is wearing a black sweater.
Next to me, there is another set of male and female friends talking. The girl is wearing the blue uniform that many in Starbucks are wearing. Two boys sit down with them and they all look friendly with each other. The original boy sitting at this spot now looks out of place because he is not wearing a uniform – the two new boys are wearing camo. Another uniformed boy pulls up a chair to their powwow.
Two girls walk between the big group and myself, diverting my attention. The girls are laughing. One girl is wearing a long black skirt and a jean jacket and the other is wearing jeans and a black shirt. My eye wanders to the counter of the store. There is a short man waiting for coffee. His age is showed in his fashion: light washed jeans and an army green outfit.
Suddenly, “I don’t have a lot of cash”, “It’s not that much”. My attention is brought back to the big group. Two of the uniformed boys are talking, loudly. The one who seems annoyed by his friend’s frugality moves his chair so he’s between the two other boys in the group. The boy he moves next to, the one not in uniform, is saying, “Hot sauce – YAS!”
Two girls walk in – they look like they just worked out. One is wearing a black lulu lemon tank top with a pink sweatshirt around her waist and the other is swearing a black top with leggings. They drop their stuff off at the long table – it’s getting crowded now – and go get a drink.
An older woman walks in briskly. She has brown hair and an old woman scarf on. She stops to tell a student she knows that she hasn’t seen her in a while. After a quick conversation, the woman meets with another older woman. There is a girl sitting next to them in a white sweatshirt who goes up to get a drink. As she walks up, I notice a boy waiting for his drink on his phone. I then realize seven people – that I can see – are on their phones. Four of these people are sitting with people, speaking to them still.
Suddenly, a big man dressed in all black with a black baseball cap walks in the side door, through the shop, and out the backdoor. Although he can only be described as an intimidating man, he does not seem so. He looks as though he were just talking a long shortcut through the store. The man holds the door for a sorority girl. She is blond and wearing a black baseball cap. She is wearing a light purple t-shirt with, of what I can see, the word sigma on it – this is why I assume she is in a sorority. She is wearing gray leggings and lime green sneakers.
The big group of people leaves. The frugal boy is saying, “For them to be in a gang, you actually have to stalk”. I don’t know. Behind where they were sitting, there is a girl in brown boots reading a paper. It is much quieter since they left. I can now only hear a man talking, the two older women talking, sweeping, and the music seems to have gotten much louder and clearer. I feel that this is my cue to leave. As I am packing up, a boy says “sup” to a girl walking in.