Perhaps You Will Find This Anodyne Dispatch Soothing, or: I Don’t Live in Park Slope But My Lover Does, So I Stopped at Blue Bottle This Morning and the Blue Bottle Park Slope Collective Taught Me How to Order Coffee
a. I entered through the door and got in line. There were two older white ladies in front of me. (To clarify: I am also white, and a woman, but I try not to be a white lady.) One of the ladies turned and pointed a few steps to my left and said “Oh, you see, we are lining up in THIS direction.” I demonstrated my appreciation for her attempts to herd me by saying “Oh,” while nodding and smiling and not moving.
b. I realized that Blue Bottle does not sell a coffee for under $3.75, which is how much a double shot of espresso costs. If you would like a cup of coffee (drip), it’s $4.65. I have lived in NYC for 11 years and this still managed to shock me. The man at the register must have seen the shock register on my face as I revised my order and asked for the cheaper espresso, because he paused and said, “Have you been to Blue Bottle before?” and I muttered something unintelligible before he took pity and said “We’re happy to give you this coffee on the house.” Well, ok! Thanks, Blue Bottle! (Tip your baristas, folks.)
c. While waiting for my Americano, the barista yelled “Cat?” and then “Cappuccino?” then “Cappuccino for Cat!” and finally “Cappuccino? Cat?” and a different white lady turned and stared at me until I looked up and returned her gaze. She asked, “Are you Cat?” She asked this, you see, BECAUSE THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME AT BLUE BOTTLE so I might not have been able to understand the barista yelling “Cat! Cappuccino!” directly at both of us, or maybe I had just forgotten that my name was actually Cat, or perhaps I didn’t know what a cappuccino was, and she was being helpful! I demonstrated my appreciation by slowly shaking my head. Cat=Cappuccino! Amanda=Americano! When I look back, it seems so clear, and I wonder: Was it also her first time at Blue Bottle Park Slope?
d. Steve Buscemi walked in as I was leaving and ordered a pastry to go. Steve Buscemi did not care that I was visiting Blue Bottle Park Slope for the first time. Steve Buscemi is an eat-pastry-first, educate-the-Blue-Bottle-newbies-never kinda guy.