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Starbucks Before My First Coffee Hit

 

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You know the feeling. Eyes blurred, mind dull, attitude grim. Sure signs of a coffee addict waiting for his first hit.

Starbucks’ Sunday Morning Ambivalence

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Living in Boston as we do, Starbucks coffee shops are everywhere. This one is just down the hill from us and I go there every Sunday morning to pick up the Boston Globe and the New York Times. Even as late as 8:30 or 9:00 a lot of the regulars still haven’t shown up. Today I had the good fortune of taking a photograph of this guy who seemed either to be reading the paper of nursing a gigantic hangover.

Boston’s Best Panhandler

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His name is Michael, last name unknown. His “office” is the Starbucks on the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets. If you go into Starbucks around 8am you will often see him drinking his coffee on the corner of the communal table or even perhaps catching up on his sleep, head down not moving. The staff seems to accept his presence either way.

I took this portrait of Michael last Sunday as I was picking up the New York Times and the Boston Globe for our morning reading extravaganza. The nice thing about running into Michael inside Starbucks is the staff won’t let him beg inside the coffee shop. Once outside however his empty morning coffee cup becomes his begging container as he practices his trade with professional skill and cunning rarely seen on Boston’s streets. He has been a fixture on that corner for many years and Michael has many regular patrons. I don’t consider myself a regular donor but occasionally I’ll slip him a buck because he is such a pro.

If Only

R0332870-Edit-2small.jpgCaffeine dreams at Starbucks

Sunday Morning Opportunity

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Introducing Michael The “I’m Very Famous” Panhandler

P1080486-EditsmallI’ve known¬†Michael for probably over 10 years now. The man is always chatty and almost always pleasant. Except when it’s raining. His “office”¬†is on the corner of Charles and Beacon Streets, close by the steps of Starbucks. Here he is sitting ON those steps, so to get in, one has to squeeze by him and his ever-present Starbucks begging cup.

Today I stopped by for a chat to bug him about his (apparently) life-long avocation as a beggar. “Can’t make more money no other way”, he said.

And he’s probably right.

It’s sad though because I can’t help but think if life’s bouncing ball had taken a couple of different hops he wouldn’t be “famous” for being a beggar.

Portrait of Me at Starbucks

My wife took this picture of my hat in a comfy chair at our local Starbucks. I think it is an elegant portrait perfectly conveying my feeling of relaxation as we settled in for a short coffee break.

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