In Brief

Cafes are looking at ways to break up the entrenched mode of customer usage.

American cafe culture is oddly solitary.  Core77 notes that American cafes are loosely based on French Coffeehouses. But one crucial difference between French and American cafes is the arraignment of the chairs. In France they face the street and encourage people watching. In America, cafes are designed around power outlets and our wireless connections. Core 77 explains why this might be the case:

In a traditional coffeehouse you sit and plot revolutions or listen to weird, challenging poetry. But Americans are not interested in the complexity of actual politics nor do they have an ear for poetry. So hitting the “Like” button on a Facebook snippet about the latest political pundit’s bumper sticker wisdom or forwarding an e-mail about a cat that wants a cheeseburger are the preferred activities.

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