When I’m in Starbucks, I’m an Angeleno

Like many in Los Angeles, I am a transplanted Angeleno. I am an Angeleno by default. I didn’t set out to become one with Los Angeles, nor do I think I have (or will ever) give over fully to this insanely non-committal city.

That being said, as I sit in a local Los Angeles Starbucks, not to meet up with a friend, but to make sweet love to my computer for a bit (while sipping a Venti Iced Passion Tea with one pump of sweetener), I find myself happy to be in this insane town.


Amidst the shallow, empty, egotistical streets of this sprawling suburb, lies a world of people similar to myself in a few simple ways. They’re dreamers, like many in this town, but not in the typical “fame stuck in their eyes” sense. No, these are dreamers that throw everything into the projects which they are facing squarely with trepidation, imagination and of course, lattes.

Now, I know that in virtually every Starbucks dotted along the great states, you’ll find a plethora of people fueling their creativity with caffeine. You’ll find business meetings, networking, first dates, writers, and of course, commuters on their way to the next adventure, but buried within the walls of this Starbucks are those who make this place their office.

This is something I hope to never leave behind. This cloud of cohesive creativity without fail pushes me to write that next sentence.

Today, I’m particularly in love with my Starbucks crew. Next to me are two men discussing the action film that Sony has greenlit, discussing how to properly attach a few more investors. A few tables away is an artist sketching his latest drawing from a photo on his iPad; Beside him is a man studying English intently, while munching his cinnamon coffee cake; On the other side of the sketch artist is a girl prepping for a drama class, highlighting scripts for what it looks like to be a children’s play.

Directly across from me is a man trying to write his book, but constantly fielding calls for his impending business trip; Next to us are a group of sweetly nerdy, diverse men poring over either storyboards or graphic novel drafts. I’m not sure which, but they are absolutely fascinating.

Behind me sits a man from the retirement home behind this Starbucks. He’s talking to the barista, recounting his glory days of living in Toluca Lake. I’ve seen him here before, meeting with his son or another family member. His weathered hands and thick Jewish accent melt my little heart every time.

I mean, how can you NOT draw inspiration from this place?! And yes, I know it’s not expressly limited to the city of Los Angeles, nor is it limited to Starbucks. However, this has been my experience each and every time I’ve walked into a Starbucks in this nutty, plasticized city. And you know what? It ain’t that bad. For a moment, I’m proud to be called an Angeleno. (Don’t worry, Mom, it’ll pass the second I hear a teenage girl open her mouth and start discussing her shoes in her bone-chilling Valley dialect.)

Guess I should start writing…