In 1974 Georges Perec wrote a collection of observations as he sat in Saint-Sulpice Square in Paris. Rather than describing impressive or notable things such as the architecture, he aimed to describe the unnoticed, charting brief details of buses and people who pass. This is my fun attempt to observe 🧐

Blue Bottle on Fillmore, San Francisco

It’s Wednesday, August 1, 2018 — 3:26 PM
An artist draws frantically before his scene vanishes
The struggle for chairs is neverending
A pitch ensues, testing the resolve of its recipients
A moment of blue as the fog teases us with a sun that never left
The oldest at one end of the bar, the youngest at the other share a moment
A rolex stares intently into his laptop, searching for the next move
Muni turns confidently onto Jackson
Rush subsides, exhale

Stumptown, Seattle

It’s Sunday, September 30, 2012 — 2:21 PM
Sunny, warm
A group of phones
A man with his legs crossed outside talking to someone worthy
One phone hands another a battery
A barista showing some girls how to brew coffee wearing the same shirt I happened to buy yesterday
A line forms
A dozen roses graces our view
Reflections of people in the glass scurry in all directions.

Seattle Coffee Works, Seattle

It’s Sunday, September 30, 2012 — 10:21 AM
Sunny, cool
A man impatiently waits for his bagel to toast after being chastised for requiring more butter
A family of two smart phones, a tablet, and a laptop
A buzz as more tourists awake
A holding pin of anxious customers congregates at the end of the bar anticipating their fix
A woman falsely reacts to the baristas commanding announcements
A new woman seeks dominance over the crowd, she’s met with scowls
A runner couple compare products
Occasional eye contact, “are you writing about me?” Yes
A woman stares at her laptop, patiently waiting for it to load having not personalized what an interaction designer somewhere thought should be personalized
A guy who went to Berkeley and wishes everyone to know.

Seattle Coffee Works, Seattle

It’s Saturday, September 29, 2012 — 12:36 PM
Cloudy, warm
Dedicated baristas making espresso and small talk with the tourists—choosing their battles wisely
A manager playing jokes on tourists to win them over
A tailored couple making a tailored exit
Two life-long elderly friends enjoying each other in silence
Three asian teenagers sitting at a table but actually sitting in completely different worlds as their faces glow from the handheld screens in-front of them
A dominant gesticulator
A man plugs his phone in over a panini
A tasting group in the back acclimating themselves to the role of connoisseur
Old wooden chairs loosely attached to their tables showing their character
A cement floor dutifully absorbing all that is lost once entering a coffeehouse
Artwork hung with arrogance (too high).

Caffé Greco, San Francisco

It’s Saturday, September 22, 2012 — 1:32 PM
Sunny, warm
A woman holding a beer with the tips of her fingers as if it were socially unacceptable in her current situation
A proud server casing the outside tables after making deliveries to receptive guests
A middle aged couple sharing a smart(phone) moment
A boy walking up the sidewalk intently focused on a handheld game while disrupting the flow of sidewalk tourism
A girl at an outside table, alone in a sea of social interactions desperately trying to create one of her own while feeling the warmth of technology next to her cheek
A mom guiding her children while the lawn ornament she’s holding spins wildly.

Linked References