Starbucks, Webster Ave, Alameda, California.
“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.”
–Langston Hughes, “A Note on Humor,” 1966
Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Fruitvale Ave., Oakland, CA.
Saturday morning at Peet’s on Fruitvale Avenue is so absolutely, positively Oakland! The use of Oakland as an adjective is intentional, because there’s really no better better way to describe the atmosphere of this place (at this time and on this day). If there is a single language, ethnicity, age, religious group, or subculture that is not represented in this crowd, I can’t imagine what it might be. And the diversity is present on both sides of the counter, among the patrons as well as the employees. There are almost as many dads with strollers or baby wraps as there are moms equipped with the same; and, for a small space in which accidentally elbowing someone else is almost inevitable, the mood is surprisingly light and forgiving. People’s smiles seem to say, “It’s Saturday morning at Peet’s, and it’s all good.”