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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Comments

hannah

Hi there-
a friend of mine directed me to your posting...
i live in ft greene and also fell in love with tillie's as soon as i 'discovered' it...no starbucks for me!

bet you didn't know that the owner, pat, is a single woman who is struggling to keep that place humming on her own, and that she supports local artists immensely with the monthly art shows and open mics...and is involved in keeping so many community programs running so that ft greene continues to grow into the cool neighborhood that it is...

at the same time, she's got to fend off multiple graffiti attacks, numerous tickets for garbage left outside the store, and so on and so on..
it's so hard to keep a business going these days, and the profit margin is often so small when the rent, and salaries, and cost of raw materials is going up by the day...(not to mention the heating bills she is responsible for!)..
so, take a deep breath and think for a few moments about how it must seem from her point of view...and maybe approach her with a solution that will work for everyone! become a part of the neighborhood!

Aaron

Hannah -- I would be wrong to assume that you didn't read the whole post, although your comment certainly seems to indicate that you didn't. And you obviously didn't read this post which I wrote the following day which said that my opinion was written "with sadness and not venom." As I wrote above: "They claim (and I'm not going to dispute it) that the number of people drawing off their electricity apparently costs them too much. It's not that I think that's a bad argument. It's an independently owned cafe, and I'm sure they're expenses aren't cheap. I have no clue how much, say, 10 laptops plugged in all day would add to their electric bill. Maybe it's significant."

I'm sorry if I don't appreciate people telling me to "take a deep breath," especially when I'm not angry at a place and do already look at it from the owner's point of view. That doesn't mean I don't have the right to be disappointed, and maybe I'm just not creative enough, but I'm not sure how I should contribute for finding a solution to this one small problem, something which is totally her right to choose to do.

TG

Well, buy an extra battery... I'm at Tillies sometimes for 5 hours writing away... with my lunch and then tea and then dessert and then... extra battery!

Reid Beels

Came across this post searching for free wifi in the area. I'm another west-coast transplant and I've been going through major independent cafe withdrawal.

Just a quick comment on the wifi in cafes argument that you mentioned having. The point that cafes with free wireless tend to get saturated with laptop users is certainly valid. I walked past somewhere this afternoon where every table was in use and every table had a laptop. However, I think this is more due to the fact that such cafes are such a scarce commodity around here than it is inherent to their existence. In the part of Portland that I just moved from, there was a cafe at least every six blocks and the vast majority of them offered free access. In that environment, the only cafes that ever really got saturated with laptop users were the ones that were open 24 hours and even those were only filled at 3am during finals week at the local colleges.

Okay, that was long. I'll stop now.

moe tee

You are exactly the reason that Ft. Greene is now exactly what it shouldn't be.

I implore any of you within earshot.

Go back.

Fort Greene is closed.

Eric

you need one of these external batteries: http://www.batterygeek.net/Laptop_Tablet_PC_Battery_Packs_s/1.htm

a 130WH battery can give you a lot more time, I bought one after running out of juice at Tillie's one day ;)

if you have a MacBook you can underclock the processer with this: http://www.coolbook.se/CoolBook.html

using these 2 solutions together I can get at least 8 hours of outlet free power on my Macbook, I haven't pushed it to the max yet, but I bet I could get upto 12 hours, way more than I'd ever need!

effdot

the owner is not a struggling frail old lady. she is a former bigwig exec for a publishing house.

I worked there at one time and watched as someone from another state took the job that shouldve gone to neighborhood people who worked there longer.

thats fucked up that the douche she hired to do all her dirty worked took out the plugs.

u cant take out the color and retain the flavor.

nobody that works there is the shade of the very coffee they sell.

its re-fuckin diculous

effdot

the owner is not a struggling frail old lady. she is a former bigwig exec for a publishing house.

I worked there at one time and watched as someone from another state took the job that shouldve gone to neighborhood people who worked there longer.

thats fucked up that the douche she hired to do all her dirty worked took out the plugs.

u cant take out the color and retain the flavor.

nobody that works there is the shade of the very coffee they sell.

its re-fuckin diculous

silverbullet

hannah said:

"it's so hard to keep a business going these days... when the rent, and salaries, and cost of raw materials is going up by the day"

yeah, when I worked there I made $5 an hour. it was a few years ago but paying anybody $5 an hour in NYC is a crime. maybe now they get 6. the coffee was fantastic though.

it's nice that there's alternatives to cookie cutter corporate chains, but work there a year or so for next to nothing and you might feel a little differently about the wonderful world of middle-aged, quasi-bohemian, vaguely creative, soy-chai latte sipping folks who can somehow afford to spend 15 hours a day sitting in a coffeehouse talking about macrobiotic yoga and downloading photoshopped pictures of george w bush....

sorry for laughing

Eric, if Pat was such a big wig exec or is, why would she spend two days a week working in this little cafe dealing with these trifles? At the same time, say she was - what does that have to do with the price of beans today? that being said, Pat is also not a frail old lady by any means - she's actually pretty fit - does yoga, jogs. i think i speak for her when i say thank you very much. the fact is ten laptops plugged in running all day does take up a lot of energy. i mean that shouldn't be too hard to figure out. in addition, to the energy it runs up it also probably discourages table turnover/ additional customers from coming in. so there while you are running up costs you are potentially discouraging other customers from coming in. why would she deny that to prospective customers otherwise? I admit if i were running a place i'd just open up all the outlets for use and require minimum purchase every hour or so just because it's what many people including myself (also having lived on the west coast for awhile) expect and look for when thinking about the cafe i wanna go to. but then again i've stopped bringing my laptop out as i hate lugging it around anyway. i should let you know though having also worked there myself for a time that to my knowledge there aren't that many outlets to begin with. the only one that i know of that is being restricted is the one in the back near the bathroom. maybe there used to be other outlets in other locations though.
Pat is actually a nice lady and the guy who is somewhat like the gen manager - who i think Eric is calling a douche is actually a nice guy too albeit he can be a bit monotone, intense in demeanor and lacking tactfulness in certain respects because he works way too many hours a week there. whether you want to acknowledge it or not Eric, Tillie's is a small business, a struggling cafe - not a fortune five hundred company. that means 400$ tickets for trash left outside and the like are real challenges. when i worked there i'd heard stories from customers about how tillie's used to be a lot worse in terms of the staff
just basically being completely apathetic and doing whatever they pleased - i won't get into specifics. i just know that customers had told me that the place had really cleaned up/turned around in the 2 years or so before i started working there. i got the feeling (through various communications) , there'd been some disgruntled former employees of the neighborhood who basically are just mad that they got canned or what have you for being complete slackers who thought they should basically be able to goof off and not clean up after themselves, have a party while at work, etc etc. I have my criticisms with tillie's which revolve more around aesthetic elements of the place but all in all it's not a bad little neighborhood cafe. HERE'S A SOLUTION, for Aaron;
first of all, when i worked there - there were actually four outlets that were open to customers- assuming this is the same - those four outlets are in the raised alcove kind of area that is on the right side front of the cafe as you walk in. now these four outlets are not constantly being taken up if you watch people they're really not there all day. ok some are there for awhile but i'm sure there would be glad to share the outlet on and off with you. NOW this is what i used to do when i lived in California and went to this Cafe where all the outlets where always taken up because everyone in the place had laptops and they would stay all day - it's really revolutionary - bring your own power strip/surge protector - amazing isn't it now you've doubled the amount of outlets. now i can't speak for how Tillie's may react but hey you know if you don't ask and no one says anything well then what's the harm you didn't know haha.
as for eric's comments on color, flavor, out of state vs neighborhood workers it only serves to highlight his own racist xenophobic sentiments masquerading as concern/frustration about gentrification.

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