I ventured to Urth Cafe in downtown Los Angeles today, expecting a good sized crowd, with plenty of tables, good food, and good company. The weather was beautiful and I was looking forward to meeting interesting people.
However, when I got there, the cafe was overcrowded, with no available tables, over-priced mediocre food, and rude people. It took me 45 minutes to get seated and twice encountered pushy people who haggled over my seat.
This was not a good idea …
When I finally had the chance to sit down, I thought about the different factors that made this location unsuitable for my experiment:
- Space – This cafe is spacious, with indoor and outdoor seating, but it is simply too large for an intimate project like this one. In the future, I will seek cafes that are smaller and more intimate, perhaps a space that accommodates around 15 people.
- Timing – People are not optimally geared to share their thoughts during lunch. Instead, I need to find a time where people are more relaxed and have time to spare. Pre-lunch or post-lunch, but not lunch.
- People – I have to find people that are open-minded and curious enough to approach a stranger and share their thoughts.
This was a lonely session, but a good lesson indeed … I hope to find a more suitable cafe next week!