Field of Science

Coffee & wine bars - too cultured for the USA?

Zurich is littered with coffee and wine bars.  Most of them are pretty small, quite intimate, with little tables and a couple of lithe young women in tight black jeans and white blouses waiting tables.  When your feet get tired of the coble stones, or going through one of the best collections of European art, you find an inviting looking place, and sit for a spell while sipping a coffee, wine, or beer.  You don't pay when you are served.  The wait staff doesn't bug you about paying or ordering more until you are more or less ready, and sometimes not even then.  Of course, anything this civilized
is quite rare in the USA where somehow such an activity is still considered a sinful waste of time, especially on a Sunday. Yesterday was rainy, and today, a Sunday, was mostly sunny and everyone was out walking because most retail places, other than afore mentioned social bars, were closed. How nice. People came and went; groups, old couples (the Phactors were not out of place), young couples, people with strollers, guys with mostly shaved heads and tattoos, fashionable ladies, a real cross section of the humanity strolling by.  Now why are such places not more common in the USA?  Primarily, it's because such places only exist where urban centers are vibrant and where a significant part of the population walks from place to place. Cities and towns in the USA have to develop active, people places for places like this to be successful. The closest things in smaller cities are campus town areas adjacent to university campuses. Now don't get TPP started on the mass transit system in a place like Zurich. 

1 comment:

William M. Connolley said...

The continental habit of just-sit-down-and-a-waitress-will-turn-up takes some getting used to for the British as well.