Monday, October 22, 2007

Coffeehouses in Second Life

I look down at the screen of my laptop, a blank word document is waiting for me, it’s time to write another Lane’s List, but before my fingers touch the keyboard, I lean back in my chair, lift a steaming cup of coffee and take a sip. I stare at the blank document and sip my coffee, thinking of how best to introduce this edition of Lane’s List. An idea pops into mind and I lean forward my fingers poised to strike the keys. I promptly spell out “Lane’s List of Coffeehouse’s In Second Life”. Feeling much better about not looking at empty document, I lean back and take another sip. My mind is churning now, the words forming and I set down the cup and am about to begin when my phone rings.

By the time my conversation is over, the thoughts I’d had about to note had disappeared and looking at my mug, so had the coffee. I need to get focused, so head downstairs to the kitchen for another cup. Trying to recapture my thoughts, “maybe I should start with what is a coffeehouse”, I say out loud to no one as I head back to the office. I open my browser favorites and click on Wikipedia and do a search on “coffeehouse”. As I read the article, I get a broad perspective of what is a coffeehouse and their history, but it’s not helping me to get started with my own article.

Now I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, maybe I just need to chill for a bit and relax, so I switch to my desktop, find the SL icon and double-click it. While the app loads, I sip slowly from the cup, worried now that I may have taken on a topic I am ill prepared to write about. Having logged and my av now rezzed into the living room of his SL home, I do a search on “coffee” and scan the results. One hundred and fourteen places in SL have coffee as a keyword, hmmmmm, somehow I had thought perhaps there would have been more. I picked one based on high traffic volume and hit the TP button, the screen goes blank and… whoooooosh…. I arrive.

The destination slowly rezzes on the screen in front of me, and my avi takes in the scale of the virtual coffeehouse before moving the short distance the entrance. As he does so, I quickly check the mini-map, it shows the presence of several others, so he saunters past the front patio with its wrought iron bistro tables to either side, and finds a warmly decorated interior awaiting him. On the left are several light wood textured table and chairs in orderly rows with a coffee bar and a scripted coffee server on top of the counter. On his right is a nook where there are two large couches and matching chairs all with poses for a relaxing sit. There is a fireplace on the wall across from the one sofa and virtual fire lends warmth to the ambience. There is a picture above the fireplace of autumn leafs falling, the colors rich and adding to atmosphere of coziness and perhaps as a subject for patrons to discuss while they get acquainted.

“Good morning Nazz”, I’m greeted by a patron, a woman sitting on one of the stuffed chairs a virtual cup of what appears to be coffee in her hand. I choose view last chatter from the view menu and my perspective changes to see her more clearly. She is nicely attired in slacks and sweater, her red hair neatly coiffed, her avi sipping from a steaming cup of coffee. Her name is Lauranne Theas.

“I hope you’re having a great day so far” she asks and I reply in chat, “I am, thank you. I trust your day is going well….. May I join you?” “Please do…*smiles*” she replies. So I click on the other chair and sit. As I do, she offers me a cup of coffee, which I accept and promptly wear.

The chat is active, there are three ladies on the patio in back, I try not to eavesdrop, but is it hard not to do so, they are chatting about a new line of fall dresses at Simone! Design. While they chat away, I turn my attention back towards my new found companion and offer my thanks for the coffee while the animation plays and Nazz appears to be sipping from a steaming cup of coffee. She accepts my thanks, and then says, “I don't think I've seen you here before”, I reply that I had been here once or twice before and ask if she is a regular. “Yes, I meet here almost daily. I was just stopping in to see who was here today.” She asks, “So what brings you here today?” I type out my reply, telling her about Lane’s List and the topic I’d chosen to write my next article. She replies, “Ahhh...sounds interesting.” I told her of how I’d started the morning, and that I felt a little more research may be in order. The crowd in the back grew as two other ladies arrived and joined in the chat, adding their favorite stores and designers to a lively discussion.

“Perhaps I could interview you for the article”, I ask. There is a bit of a delay, beginning to feel awkward I start thinking of how to make a graceful exit when she says, “I’m sorry I was listening to the chat, I may need to do some shopping later. LOL….. Alright, what would you like to know?”

“Lauranne, perhaps we should switch to IM”, she agrees and as I am about to ask my first question. A new arrival interjects with, “Good morning Lauranne and Nazz.” We both exchange greeting with him and afterward he walks toward the back to greet a woman sitting alone. They exchange pleasantries and he invites himself to sit across from her at a table. She seems willing for the company and they go silent in chat so I assume they’re in an IM session.

“Where were we…. Oh yes, I was about to ask you Lauranne…. of all the places in SL where one could socialize, why a coffeehouse?” She replied, “It's a safe and social place to meet new people as well as bond with the others you have gotten to know with time.” I smiled and noted the arrival of a couple, formally attired he in tux and she in a red ball gown, they stroll over to a table and sit. “We have a steady group here of regular people who interact daily. We have created some genuine friendships here. We look after the people we have near us.” I ask, “Are you drinking coffee now in RL?” She replies with a chuckle, “As a matter of fact, I am. Our discussion topics are always amusing. And, we all have jobs in RL... so, we can pause, work and begin chatting again without issues.”

The group of ladies on the patio has increased once again, the topic has changed, it is now about men. I note that there are two new arrivals, both are Vampires and I wonder if they always force the sun to midnight when they arrive at a destination. I mention that to her, and she laughs in reply.

“Do you frequent coffeehouses in RL?” She replies, “I live in, yes! It's a social lifestyle.” She tells me of her favorite beverage when she does and I must admit a Grande Non-fat Latte extra hot sounds intriguing and make a note to try one the next opportunity I have in RL. “Are there events here that attract a crowd?” Lauranne replies, “We create our own events within our group. Pal around. I guess.” She then tells me RL is calling her attention, and she’ll be right back. While I wait, I move my camera around looking at the rest of the build, noting features such as the patio in the back with its bistro tables and wicker sofa and chairs in the corner. There are about ten people in here right now, the group of ladies on the patio has decreased, but the chat discussion is still lively and still about men. I try once again to not eavesdrop, but can’t and read the chat. “I’m back” she announces in the IM. Are there any more questions I can answer for you?” I smile and reply only two more questions.

“First, what do you think of this coffeehouse?” She pauses and then asks me to clarify what I meant. I tell her we talked of the social aspect, and I was curious about the physical attributes, whether or not it contributed to the ambiance. “Ahhh…. Yes, it's very comfortable. Plenty of room for lounging and crowds as they happen, also, some quiet places for private conversations if needed. We love to sit outside as well as in by the fire.”

I note her reply when I become distracted by the ladies chat, they’ve started talking about pick-up lines they’d heard in SL and so I start looking at my history for a nugget I can perhaps use in the future. I must have been away for what she thought to long, “Are you still here?” she asks. “Yes” I reply, sorry RL.” I lied not wanting her to know what I was really doing. “You had another question for me” she said. “I do yes… May I add you to my friends list?” I ask and she replies “Of course *smiles* thank you.” Afterward she stands and announces in chat her RL work is calling and she’s going to log off. We exchange goodbyes, I thank her for helping me with my article and she poofs.

Alone, I begin think of how best to incorporate her comments into my article. Summing up her comments into a short list of what a coffeehouse is may be a good approach I think. Standing up, I select home and in a few seconds my avi returns to his living room. I open up the communications window and scroll through her remarks attempting to summarize them in a few bullets I can use as I explore and evaluate other coffeehouses that will make this edition of Lane’s List.
  • A place to meet new people and bond with those you’ve gotten to know

  • Plenty of room for lounging and chat

  • Quiet places for private conversations or small group chat

  • A place for group events

I open my search window, type in “coffee” and I’m off to the first destination.

Here is Lane’s List of Coffeehouses in Second Life. I hope you enjoy visiting them as much as I did. Perhaps one day, our avi's will meet at one of them and we can have a nice chat and enjoy a virtual cup of coffee.

  1. Open Latte Coffee Shop - Mill Pond 240, 217, 22 Open Latte is at the top of my list for coffeehouses in SL. It is as it bills itself “a relaxing spot to enjoy intelligent conversation and make some great friends. “ There is outdoor seating in front and back as well as inside to accommodate about 30 avatars. The interior is nicely decorated, and there are nooks for either a private or small group chat. I found two coffee servers plus a tea server along with one that dispensed banana muffins. There is a group one may join, Open Latte Addict. It can found in group search. The owner of Open Latte and the group is Micala Lumiere.

  2. COFFEESHOP MOCCALICIOUS - Sterling Heights 193, 104,22 found Moccalicious to be a nice relaxing place. I was greeted by the owner, Yura Gazov upon my arrival as he was busily decorating for a Halloween Party that evening. He took some time to greet me and another guest, answered our questions and sent us both invitations to the party. I found dispensers for coffee and espresso along with servers for cake and pies. Also, one can join the COFFEESHOP MOCCALICIOUS group, both the shop and group are owned by Yura Gazov.

  3. Fiction and Lattes/Kelly Yap Artist Gallery and Studios and the arts, the two are often linked as one thinks of a Parisian Café or New York’s Coffeehouses. You will not be disappointed here. Kelly Yap, the owner was working in her garden when I arrived and was gracious enough to take me on a tour. It originally started out as a library but she decided to make it a coffeehouse. There were racks of books one could actually read, by rezzing and turning the pages as your camera focused in. She has since added a stage for poetry reading, utilizing the voice capabilities in SL, allowing for interaction to occur between poet and audience. Also on display in the gallery is her own and friends art for sale.

  4. Huggy's Coffee House, HUG*MART & Tiny Dance Club - Dammastock 120, 108, 59’s bills itself as a “place for Tiny’s to hang out”. There was no one present on my arrival or prior to my departure. I found the décor to be cheerful and brightly colorful, with seating for about 20 or so Big Av’s. How many Tiny’s could fit in Huggy’s would be in an interesting question, perhaps I’ll ask the owner Roy Blanchard for his guess. One can find Menu's behind the counter, scripted to deliver Tiny Food and Drinks or Big Food and Drinks. Brownies, cookies, cupcakes, slice of pizza, sandwich or apple. Drink selection included coffee, tea, milk shake, glass of milk, soda or fruit punch. There is a group one may join, Huggy's Coffee House, Roy Blanchard is the group owner

  5. dokimos cafe - Truth 122, 64, 0 Christian coffee house fellowship with Bible studies and friendly discussion including spiritual beliefs, religion, and faith. Coffee service is available from an espresso machine. There looked to be seating for about 20 on the lower floor. A second floor has two rooms, I am assuming for bible study. No one present when I arrived or prior to my departure. Found the walls decorate with posters referencing the religious aspects of the coffeehouse, groups’ ads, and flyers for study sessions and locations for services. There is a group, Club dokimos, California Condor is the group owner

  6. Mimosa Island Gay Beach - Lofts & Shop Rentals - Mimosa Island 204, 50, 0 coffeehouse appears to be part of a recreation building, I found seating for about twelve people with servers for coffee and Hot Cocoa Latte. There was no one present on my visit. It is tastefully decorated as a component of a larger recreation room. Wicker couches in white cloth with two small coffee tables, it is tucked away in the one corner of the building. Other amenities were present for socializing. The group, Mimosa Island Gay Coffee Shop, Zephalus Zapedzki owner has a regular event, the Infusion Gay Cafe. Breakfast Club Saturday 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM PST.

  7. BCH :: Beachwood Coffee House - Beachwood 96, 101, 38 A very nice build, modern decor chrome and lots of glass. Outdoor patio with table seating for six and a cozy corner niche with love seat and couches. Hardwood floor interior with three seating areas with couches and chairs. A coffee and tea server is available on a coffee table near the entrance. Potted plants dot the interior space, providing a few places where privacy can be maintained. A few modern art pieces are also on display. There was no one around when I arrived, nor prior to my departure.

  8. !MarillaAnne's Place Coffee Shop & Art Gallery ~Dream Island - Dream Island 155, 25, 28 to MarillaAnne's Place, Nazz Lane, the greeter entered into chat as I arrived, right click the green cone on the door to teleport up to The Upstairs Gallery. There is seating for about 20 or so, with notecard and drink dispensers on each table. There is a stage for live music performances and one may join the group, MarillaAnne's Place, owner MarillaAnne Slade. Art on display included RL photography from Texas, New York, New York City, and Oregon.

  9. The Overflowing Cup Coffee House - Westport 116,194,67 A Christian coffee shop, tastefully decorated with seating for 20 or so on the ground floor. You can get coffee, tea or espresso along with cookies and cakes. I found a rack full of literature (notecards), and chairs arranged in what I presumed to be a prayer circle on the second floor. I also saw small conference table in a nook on the upper level. There was one person there when I arrived, engrossed in an IM session. We exchanged pleasantries before I left to explore other venues.

  10. Bantam Dell Bookshop & Café nicely done build, however the traffic numbers here were very low. I found an espresso server tucked away in one corner on a counter with wine server along with servers for muffins and cookies. There were books on display, assuming them to be from the publisher, with seating on both a lower and upper floor and seating on the patio. By far the largest of the coffeehouses I visited. What one can do with corporate dollars! There is a group, The Bantam Dell Book Café, Beatrice Scintilla is the group owner.

  11. The Killing Moon Cafe - Coffee House and Chill Joint (Retrology) seating on patio in front of the cafe for six along with a small interior with seating for six more in a nook. I found both a coffee server and one for freeze drinks. One could also get cookies, bagels & cream cheese, donuts, and pies from servers.

  12. Nadima's Magic Bean Coffee House and Kulture Gallery - Happy Clam Island 132, 178, 26 trip back to the tie-dyed 60’s at this coffeehouse. There is seating for about twelve of so, with a dance floor and stage. A server offers you a choice of, Latte, Macciato, Mocha, Cappuccino, Espresso or Flat White. There was no one present when I arrived or prior to my departure.


moon said...

I enjoyed reading this ...if u remember, I met you in such a coffee house, was my first time in one, checking out what it was like and if I would meet interesting ppl and enjoy some good conversation...and I did lol, You were kind enough to give me the link to this blog...Maybe we will bump into eachother again some time....Have a great day!

Stephen said...

Thanks for doing this list. I'll have to visit some of these sometime!