Of course the first thing I noticed was the decor. The pendants are made of cork- love! And the red chairs are pretty awesome. The seats by the windows are made of really densely compacted felt so it was like sitting on a wood bench but much easier on the derriere.
As you can see they have this long table for 18 guests.
I arrived a little nervous- expecting to commune with others. This is completely out of my comfort zone...but... I wanted to push myself to try something new.
When we arrived, the long table was half full.
But half full like this: (the coloured squares represent different parties)
There was no room for a threesome so by default we sat in the "booths" by the window. I was a bit disappointed but it gave me the opportunity to see how the communal table was doing. I guess if I really wanted to, I could have asked someone at the communal table to move over but... I'm not that bold.
But this is exactly what I'm talking about. All the guests had the opportunity to commune with and meet strangers at a place called COMMUNE Cafe but instead they left empty seats between them and the next party. Why do we always feel the need to have a buffer?
I'm not bashing these patrons. I'm exactly like them! When I go out with my friends, I just want to talk with them, not with strangers. And when strangers are so bold as to cross that buffer, they get the stink eye... There's something really wrong with that, right?
While we waited for our food I told my friend about my project and she looked around and saw how everyone was in their own bubble and she said, "It won't work. People won't do it.".
And that's problem right there. It's not "normal" to interact with strangers. Like I said in my previous post, communal dining is NOT for everyone. It's ironic that I'm so antisocial but I have this desire to design a communal restaurant. I look at my nephews and niece and I want them to be friendly, social and to genuinely love other people- whether they know them or not (within reason of course! I still want "stranger danger" to be on their minds!).
OK so going back to this plan view I made:
Half way through our meal, someone came and sat across from Purple Square who had her head in a newspaper the whole time we were there. Purple Square looked up at New Square who gave her a smile. I don't know what Purple Square did because I couldn't see her face. I just saw her immediately return to her newspaper. Shortly after Purple Square got up and left. Aw... poor New Square.
People watching is fun!!
It's my friend's bday is next week and we're going check out The Irish Heather. I honestly feel anxious about it...but as uncomfortable as it will be... I think this is just something I have to do!