There is a Starbucks several blocks from my apartment, which has a particularly comfortable couch by the window. Although there are four other outposts within walking distance for me, I ride my bike to the comfy couch so I have a place to read, away from the distractions of my cat and my TV, both of which I love but they do have a habit of demanding a bit too much of my attention sometimes. So I go. I get a lot of reading done on that couch.
Because it is out of the realm of hotels and frozen yogurt shops, this Starbucks is more popular among South Beach residents instead of tourists. Except unlike me they tend to actually buy coffee. I usually don't, due to my loyalty to the Cuban-inspired cafe con leche I love so much. Although the Java Chip Frappucino with 2% milk is quite delicious. But this is not about Frappucinos.
The swarms of locals at this Starbucks tend to include a cast of regulars who gather in the evenings. You will usually see F, a delightful lady of 80+ years with osteoporosis that has bent her torso into the shape of a candy cane. She putters around town with her wheelie-bag in tow, which is filled with mysterious and important belongings that she may need at any time. I can't imagine ingesting the doses of caffeine and sugar one gets from a super-large Starbucks drink is good for F's aging homeostatic systems, but it's none of my business.
There is also the Boy With The Hat--I say "boy" because he can't be older than his early 20's, although perhaps he's younger--who sits in a chair, wearing his crisp-and-clean baseball hat, and does nothing. He just sits there. For hours. He usually has a drink of some sort, and he keeps himself busy listening to music oh his headphones or folding a napkin into tiny little squares, but that's it. Why does he sit there all day? Is he avoiding going somewhere? Is he hiding from someone? There is a story there.