A Double Espresso and Lemon Poundcake Please

An element of third place present in Fellner’s chapter five Moving up on Eighth Street would most definitely include regulars. The regulars are those who consistently come back to the establishment, and on page 114 people like Perry Jackson come in the morning like clock-work and order almost the same thing everyday, for Perry a venti cup to get her through the day. Another consistent customer came through the door after Perry whose order Tawana had already made by the time he got inside, for him a double espresso and lemon pound cake. A gentlemen from the Marine Corps’ also shows up as a morning regular before work at the Quantico Base. Another element that Oldenburg uses to describe the category of regulars involves more than just having the same customers everyday consistently, it is the acceptance of newcomers. Oldenburg states “Every regular was once a newcomer, and the acceptance of newcomers is essential to the sustained vitality of the third place. Acceptance into the circle is not difficult, but it is not automatic either,” (34). This is evident on page 114 of Fellner’s book as well, because she describes a woman that seemed normal, but it soon became very evident to Fellner that she was not. However, Tawana told Fellner that there was very little crazy people, because they always try to embrace the customers, new and old, just as Oldenburg says. 

Evidence that may seem complicating towards there being regular customers is when Fellner states “Now most of the folks coming in were strangers to the neighborhood, on their way to a band concert at the Marine Corps barracks down the street,” (Fellner 119). However, it is not entirely considered irregular because of who the individuals are, but more where they are going/coming. Regularly the people may be strangers to the neighborhood, but also regularly, the same people are coming in like concert-goers and marines. This seems like a regular trend that occurs wether the names are different or the same.

While this Starbucks may be considered a third place, the interview with the gentleman from the Marine Corps said that basically the store located on third street does not fall under the third place place category. He makes it known that the place on third street does not care as much for its customers, and while this may be because of the employees, it cannot be considered a very good third place if the customers do not wish to go there, therefore creating no consistency or regularity among the people. So, Starbucks may be considered a third place because of the regular customers, but to the extent where this may not be the case for every store location.

Positive, Respectful, Social

During these chapters, Schultz describes and talks about human relationships as positive and a mainstay, when speaking in relation to coffee. As much as Schultz dreaded having to shut down six-hundred different locations across the country, he was reassured that human relationships with Starbucks were the cause of receiving such backlash due to the positivity in many communities and their outlook on Starbucks. This can be seen in this quotation from page 162 where he states “backlash hurt, but our partners arid landlords were hurting more. Again, I saw a silver lining. The push-back from our customers, our people-even the reaction from landlords-affirmed that Starbucks was a positive force, a mainstay, in many communities,” (Schultz 162).

A theme that may not seem very obvious at first when it comes to Schultz and human relationship is respect. As  he describes the struggle of discovering which stores to close down there is always an element of respect, such as checking stores that sent emails to see if they could be spared, or by being sure to tell the store in advance and in person about their official closing. There is an utter evidence that to be successful, human relationship is respectful, and even more so because all of the backlash received shows that Starbucks is a place the customers respect as well. In this quotation from Schultz, he has already shown how hard it was to pick which Starbucks to close, and in order to avoid making the matters worse, they had to handle the situation respectfully to keep a positive human relationship. The quotation states “Out of respect we had wanted to inform our partners in person before their stores’ fate went public, as well as prevent an employee exodus or lax customer service in the- months before a store actually ceased operating,” (Schultz 160).

Schultz describes human relationship as social. He picks at the idea that Starbucks is a third place, working as a social and personal environment available to everyone. He concludes that an individual’s home is their first place, work is second, and Starbucks is third because it is an environment where people can connect with themselves as well as connecting with others. He believes this idea of sociableness in humans cannot have a price put on it. The quotation for this idea of human relationships being social is “If home is the primary or “first” place where a person connects with others, and if work is a person’s “second place,” then a public space such as a coffeehouse-such as Starbucks-is what I have always referred to as the “third place.” A social yet personal environment between one’s house and job, where people can connect with others and reconnect with themselves. From the beginning, Starbucks set out to provide just such an invaluable opportunity,” (Schultz). (“We are all hungry for community”)


The British vs. The Viennese

The 17th century British coffeehouse is a third place because it can be considered a home away from home. When describing a home away from home, Oldenburg stated how it “is a matter of leaving one’s mark, of being associated with a place even when one is not there,” (Oldenburg 41). Then, in Coffee in the Age of Reason by Tom Standage, while describing these 17th century coffee houses, he quoted Thomas Macauley, stating “The coffeehouse was the Londoners home, and that those who wished to find a gentleman commonly asked, not whether he lived in Fleet Street or Chancery Lane, but whether he frequented the Grecian or the Rainbow,” (Standage 154).  Therefore, in these London coffeehouses, the men had made their mark, and are associated with the place even when not there, considering whenever a man was attempted to be found, all they had to look was their local coffeehouse. However, a British coffeehouse is only a third place to a certain extent because as Oldenburg also says “At about four o’clock each afternoon, when their English counterparts are taking tea in their flats, the Viennese coffeehouse is invaded by a lively collation of local ladies,” (Oldenburg 194). If the third place was truly a home away from home, the English would be drinking tea in the coffeehouse, which women were also not welcomed to. Another way in which a 17th century British coffeehouse would not be a third place.

The Viennese coffeehouse can be considered a third place because it acts as a leveler. Oldenburg states “The Viennese frequent their coffeehouses for a variety of reasons and at a variety of times; these vulnerable establishments take guests as they come. Whatever the mood, occasion, or social position, the institution is adequate to it. There can be few better examples of the extent to which informal public gathering places can virtually become a way of life,” (Oldenburg 198). Therefore, no matter the issues, the class, the anything that would make someone different, all of the public are welcome to join the even playing field. The Viennese coffeehouses can only be considered a third place to a certain extent because Oldenburg mentions on page 194 how these coffees differentiate from the British because their design structure is much more part of the city and “elegant.” This elegance makes it much more difficult  for people of all types to attend and is more likely to make the place seem less like a home away from home, and more like a restaurant away from home.

To what extent is Hava Java/ Starbucks a Third Place

Hava Java can be considered a third place because of the way it is exhibited as a home away from home. The refrigerator with creamers and milks and various blends had family Christmas cards hanging up with magnets, the owner was singing along to all of the music being played on the stereo, and there was mail and papers laying out on the table next to the couch. There was also a couch! However, it only serves as a home away from home to a certain extent because the ceiling was covered in mugs and the walls had paintings for sale all over them, making the room less touchable. When the room is less touchable it becomes cold, and that cold is not a characteristic that goes hand in hand with being a home away from home,.

Starbucks can be considered a third place because conversation in the main activity. When in Starbucks there were 7 different conversations occurring in the room, two seeming spontaneous (the two women in line and the two sitting a chair apart). There was also evidence of outside communication with the bulletin board of events happening around town and long table near the register with newspapers and magazines from current dates present. However, Starbucks only reaches so far to this extent because it is also a place where people will go to study or do some form of work, and in this way wish to be secluded. There were an observed 7 people sitting on their laptops or with headphones, and three of them were reading books. There was also a section in the back of the store near the restaurants that would allow people to be secluded if they wished to do so.

Conversation Leveling in the Third Place

In the second chapter of Ray Oldenburg’s “The Great Good Place” the elements of Oldenburg’s third place are listed as comparisons (21), neutral grounds (22), levelers (23), conversation (26), accessibility and accommodation (32), regularity (33), low profiles (36), playful moods (37), and a home away from home (38). The two that seem the most important would be The Third Place is a Leveler and Conversation Is the Main Activity. The third place acting as a leveler seems to be one of the most important because this element is very crucial for the other elements to exist so easily, and because it acts as a leveler in more ways than one. These various ways include allowing for expansion possibilities that can be available to everyone (not a specific group of individuals), individuals can learn to know their workmates in a fuller aspect than possible in the workplace, worldly status claims are gone in order to make everyone equal, and lastly personal problems and moodiness are set aside. Then, the other elements tend to be dependent on this specific one because those such as, conversation would not be as easily accessible without putting everyone on an even playing field, as well as neutral grounds which would be way more difficult if worldly status was not checked at the door.

Conversation would be considered the other most important element because as Oldenburg says, even if conversation is not just the main attraction, it is certainly there and must be to categorize a third place. Conversation goes hand in hand with leveling because everyone is expected to talk the right amount, expected to contribute, and style is emphasized over the vocabulary, putting every person on the same playing field, even those who would typically dominate a conversation. Conversation in third place is an important element for those who find it difficult to talk as well. The speaking quality of an individual, not used to holding conversation, is more spirited in a third place location because there is drama, laughter, exercise, and wit all more engulfed in the conversation than other locations.

“Old”enburg and the new Third Place

Ray Oldenburg’s first chapter of “The Great Good Place” called The Problem of Place in America is most concerned with America’s integral communities, comparing those who live in America and those who do not. He claims it to be “jangled and fragmented.” In text, Oldenburg develops this thesis that America does not have integral communities by comparing the experiences of those in America, such as a lady from Europe, and Victor Gruen, an American with a small home in Vienna and a large home in Los Angeles. Gruen said “In Los Angeles we are hesitant to leave our sheltered home in order to visit friends or to participate in cultural or entertainment events,” (Oldenburg 5). Oldenburg’s first definition of Third Place started on page 16, where he uses the term as a comparison to other terms such as rendez-vous. His definition can then be described as a destination that everyone and anyone can attend for there are numerous places that are capable of entertaining all individuals outside of their secluded houses and jobs (Oldenburg 16). To Oldenburg the first place is the typical everyday home, and the second place the work setting. The third place is then common in places other than America, for it is not seen to be as important to have this integrated community.

The implications made from the definition of third place begin with how to identify cities that have third place, which can be seen easily considering prominent public spaces are dominated by a full wealth, gender, and ethnicity spectrum of humans. There an innumerable places to sit, children play in the streets, and a set director would wish to have a movie there. The next implication is that third place can be identified through architectural structure as well, such as the lack of cars battling the pedestrians for a turn on the street. The conclusion Oldenburg was able to draw from these implications was that Americans lack relaxation, for that are always trying to balance home and work, meanwhile everywhere else is much more relaxed because they balance work, home, and have that third life where they are engaged with their friends. Oldenburg’s solution that he drew from all of his implications was that the Americans in earlier times showed disapproval of balancing more than just work and home, however the idea has now condemned the people to survive in loneliness of their communities, and the only way to “fix” America is to understand exactly what public life can contribute both nationally and individually.

A warm home

photo taken at: HAVA JAVA

My initial impression of Hava Java was “weird” however, I had not even stepped foot inside yet. This idea came from our guest who mentioned to me that she had never heard of somebody ever leaving the shop without a story to tell, which obviously caused me some concern. However, upon arrival, my first impression changed from “weird” to “home.” This was the result of numerous things, such as the diverse book selection (from “The Best Diet for Your Lifestyle” to books in other languages), the Christmas cards hanging on the fridge, and the fact that the woman working behind the counter (named Danielle) gave a customer a fresh cup of coffee and mentioned that he could just come back and pay her later. Together, these factors easily make a customer, like myself, feel more at home because there was such a personable atmosphere. There were only two other people seen at this location, one where the owner repeatedly asked him if he enjoyed the food he was eating and the other, mentioned above, that was on a first name basis with the owner. These individuals purpose in the coffee shop was to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, or a a freshly baked good. Another observation worth noting about this venue was that when she spoke about fair trade coffee, she knew everything we did and stated “I care about that more than anything else in the world when it comes to coffee.” This was a very strong choice of words, but makes every cup of coffee that much more worth it.

photo taken at: STARBUCKS
photo taken at: STARBUCKS

My first impression of Starbucks was that the place seemed crowded. There were plenty of seats but if I was someone who wished to study I would not enjoy all of the conversation surrounding me, but that is solely personal opinion. However, if I were to choose one word to describe the Starbucks it would be “warm.” This is the result of the warm-tone lighting, the warm temperature, the neutral walls, and the friendly atmosphere from the 3 conversing pairs and 2 conversing strangers. Starbucks had a much more diverse set of individuals present, which may or may not be the result of the larger mass amount of people compared to Hava Java. In the seated area, there were 3 people not conversing, but each seemed to be doing some form of work, whether writing or reading. The others were much more talkative, two pairs were sitting in the padded chairs facing one another, two spontaneous conversations seemed to emerge due to their location, and there was a business meeting occurring at a long table right in the middle. This space almost gave me a burst of energy. I felt like after having a cup of coffee, I would write an essay, take an interview, or just sit and read an entire book. I felt this affect because of observations such as the inviting surrounding windows, the newspapers and bulletin boards made for communication, and that warm impression that was mentioned earlier. Another observation worth noting would be that while it may be a Starbucks with more than one worker visible, they are still personable people. One woman had ordered a cappuccino and as the worker was creating the drink for her, the woman yelled the workers name and asked for extra flavoring, and by the expression on her face, they obviously were very familiar with one another. In this case, while the Starbucks may seem more crowded and less personable between the workers and the customers, that is not always the case.

“10 on 1” Outline

Potential Paper Idea for Max Havelaar: The importance of Droogstoopel’s interruptions and writing throughout the novel.

A revealing pattern that can be seen throughout the evidence is the interruption of Droogstoopel constantly putting his two sense into the novel. This is seen on page 134, and again on page 246-250. He continuously interrupts the writing by Stern and putting it down by saying things such as “nonsense,” “untruthful,”rubbish,” and “stupid.” Yet, he is also seen throughout the novel taking credit for what is being written claiming it is his book. The two sides seen here of Droogstoopel throughout the writing can be confusing to a reader who may not be able to follow who is speaking, so it brings me to the question, what is the importance of having Droogstoopel’s point of view written throughout the novel? The representative example I would choose for this question would be located on page 287 where Droogstoopel interrupts Stern writing about Havelaar, and his interruption ends with the splashing of scarf man with mud in the carriage, the first direct physical connection between the two stories, (ends on page 294).

Cafecitos, Familias, and Buen Tiempos

The repetition I am choosing to focus on is the constant use of Spanish terms throughout the novel, for example and the most important of them all, Cafecito. As the class read Max Havelaar, there were constantly terms showing up in italics, indicating a reference to an item from another language, or another being spoken. The reason for that in Havelaar was because a book being read in English in 2017 is not going to be a perfect translation from a book originally written in another language in the 1860s, and therefore not all of the words  have a perfect translation. However, in Julia Alvarez’s “A Cafecito Story” there were no italics indicating another language, and all of the words written in Spanish are easily defined in the same sentence. Some of these words were Veneno (13), buen tiempo (13), orgánico (19), si Dios quiere (19), cooperativo (25), cafecito (29), etc. All of them were defined either in their same or secondary sentences as poison, good time, organic, three years, cooperate, and coffee, respectively. The significance of throwing these words so casually into English writing is based on more than just the fact that Joe and Miguel are located in the Dominican Republic, there must be some deeper meaning.

What is this deeper meaning, and what is its significance? I feel that the meaning of the bilingual writing without any indication signifies the coming together of Nebraska Joe and Dominican Joe. There is nothing signifying the difference between the different languages because it is two stories coming together to form one. Evidence for this can be seen on page 29 where Alvarez says “Howdy, he says. Can I bother you for a cafecito? The woman puts her book away reluctantly. Say what? she asks him. Joe smiles. Thats Spanish for a cup of coffee,” (Alvarez 29-30). In this piece Joe’s old world and new world collide as he sits in his hometown cafe, asking for a Spanish coffee, making the two stories into one. Thus, instead of having two stories of how old Joe turned into new Joe, it is the coming together of them into one.

Globalization, Imperialism, and Capitalism

(All definitions from OED):

Globalization– the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale

Imperialism– An imperial system of government; rule by an emperor or supreme ruler

Capitalism– an economic system in which private capital or wealth is used in the production or distribution of goods and prices are determined mainly in a free market; the dominance of private owners of capital and of production for profit.

Chapter 8:

In chapter eight of the novel Wrestling with Starbucks by Kim Fellner, the argumentative arc that she follows throughout the chapter begins with the global expansion of the Starbucks company from the United States, to Lebanon, to Tokyo, China, etc. However, it then spirals into internationalism versus globalization, where the text states “Starbucks may have aspired to be an internationalist, but it had the footprint of a global giant,” (Fellner 169), and this is where the conflict begins. There was conflict between Ethiopia including a trademark issue that went from a disagreement into an inopportune conflict. This conflict began with Ethiopia wanting to create a trademark, this way the country could charge distributors a licensing fee (Fellner 169) in order to obtain a greater share of the prices. This was a conflict because Starbucks already had a patent on the brand Sidamo for the way that they chose to grow it. Starbucks’ compromise was certification that would allow for Ethiopian farmers to get more money, but also protect the authenticity. There was growing criticism of Starbucks as no agreements were being reached including the film Black Gold where Nick states “in the U.S. people look for Starbucks; it’s the cultural reference point that gets illuminated. It’s very much a lifestyle, and people may see it as a critique of their own lifestyle choice,” (Fellner 177). Eventually Starbucks backed off altogether and dropped their application. However, criticism of the company still continued until Starbucks agreed to sign a licensing agreement. Fellner then mentions on page 184, how Starbucks is still committed to buying more coffee and making more loans. In her words exactly, “For a company that likes to portray itself as artfully balancing the demands of profit and principle, the Ethiopian crisis was a hard test,” (Fellner 184).

Chapter 10:

The conflict arc in this chapter begins with the statement “There can be good firms, but not good capitalism,” (Fellner 212). The issue being contemplated here is the two competing concepts of of free and fair trade and the debacle of capitalism. According to Fellner, on page 212, there are economists that push the idea that free is pertains to the process meanwhile fair pertains to consequences. At large in the argument Fellner is talking about the power of corporations versus the power of government, mentioning the analogy that we will always get more brands of toothpaste and jeans, but there will be no affordable hearing aids, located on page 213. Fellner’s arc then travels into the argument that the value is being taken from the products and leaving countless poor, because there is no set protection for those in the free market. The conflict then comes up again, that there is no guaranteed perfect balance of capitalism, but ideas such as commons and value-neutral capitalism, can prove to be good or bad solely from their outcome. Mentioned by Fellner in the novel, Paul Katzeff blames those who are greedy for ruining the capitalistic system, for he claims he was never against capitalism, just ‘capitalistic pigs.’ Basically, this argument leaves the question of what is good capitalism and how can it be achieved? The argument offers the answers fire, flood, molasses. As mentioned above, there is no found guaranteed perfect balance for capitalism, and as Sage states in Fellner’s novel “Capitalism is like fire… You can use it to cook a great meal, or it can burn down the house,” (Fellner 203). The arc completes with Fellner explaining how the values of profit versus principle allows the reader to complete a baseline to measure Starbucks.