The Mast-Head: Cups of Conversation

A universal routine shared above all others

The East Hampton Star staff has been making more frequent trips to the library next door ever since Starbucks installed a coffee machine on the front desk. This I know, not because we have a sophisticated indoor surveillance system, but because my second-floor window on the south side of the Star building looks onto the sidewalk that runs between our driveway and the library’s Main Street entryway.

If there is a universal routine shared above all others it is that coffee drinkers organize their days around the next cup. For many years, I had my second coffee of the day at Java Nation in Bridgehampton after dropping one of my kids off at school; I was nearly at a loss about what to do when that was no longer the case. I miss the morning crew, Dave and Don and that New Zealand guy and those whose names I never caught.

Coffee time is like that; you rarely introduce yourself to other regulars, even though the caffeine-fueled conversation might be the longest of the day. I see this happening at the library, too. Sheila Dunlop, who is often behind the front desk, and I are on a first-name basis, but I know the others only well enough to quickly nod and wish them a good morning.

Nonetheless, it seems to me that the library has become a more convivial place since the advent of Starbucks. At least those of us at The Star are beating a path to its door.

Many are the early mornings when I arrive at work before the library is open, however, and I count the minutes until I can shuffle over for a cup and a bit of conversation. Or not, silence being fine, too.