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April 03, 2007

Java Joint Hangin'

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Once upon a time -- call it 1980 -- shopping malls ruled the the American retail world. Then came the invasion of the Big Box Stores. Followed by village-style shopping centers.

Even though customers are slipping through mall stores' fingers there is still one unassailable category of mall-denizen: teen agers hangin' out.

Or is there?

One mid-afternoon last week I was havin' my cuppa caffein at a Starbucks. Not long after I claimed a chair at a table and was scribbling blog-subject ideas on one of those brown paper napkins, in came some early-teen girls. Then more arrived.

Pretty soon there must have been ten or so hanging out around the couches and tables.

Then it dawned on me that the Starbucks was only a quarter mile from a middle school and it was around 3:00 p.m. -- basically dismissal time.

I didn't notice boys of similar age, so maybe the gals were there simply for the beverages. Could this be a new social trend? Or am I late to the scene as usual.



posted by Donald at April 3, 2007


Hey, I've seen teenagers hanging out in Borders .

Hopeful sign?

Posted by: SFG on April 3, 2007 8:22 PM

After school at a starbucks with wi-fi you can't find a seat due to the kids. Coffee has no age limit, great seats, all your friends from school. What more could a middle or high school student want?

Posted by: gavin on April 4, 2007 12:16 AM

Where I live a lot of people, all ages, hang out at the supermarket! In this region, upper New York State, Wegman's is the dominant chain. They offer, aside from grocery shopping, a cafe serving great food on a platter, a coffee shop (plus the paper to read with your coffee) and a sub-sandwich shop. All under one roof.
I assume there are other chains in other regions of the country that serve the same purpose. Much nicer than wandering around a mall.

Posted by: ricpic on April 4, 2007 9:24 AM

Your children leave school at 3:00? At what time do they start?

Posted by: dearieme on April 4, 2007 1:10 PM

As a recent high-schooler, I think if these are early teens, the lack of driving licenses might play a role...a bookstore very close to my high school is packed by two groups in the afternoons: middle-aged affluent women and students from the high school who cannot find carpools or rides back home and end up waiting for their parents.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2007 1:42 AM

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