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Jonathan Weber took this shot of the Nob Hill Flying Star when he nominated it for the best New West coffee shop.

The Scene at Flying Star: A Freelancer’s Life

In the past two weeks, I have spent so much time and money at Flying Star that I’m beginning to think the Bernsteins (who own the place) should issue me some shares.

I am not alone, either. Here is a brief list of people I have seen at the newest branch, downtown, of what someone called Flying Star-bucks recently.

But wait. Before I get into my litany of “who’s who” at Flying Star, let me just clarify that I believe that Flying Star is still a long way from Flying Starbucks. The place has wireless, magazines, and couches, and makes a good hard cup of joe, black and bitter like I like it, but it is still locally owned. Some have lamented that as Flying Star has added outlets and multiple Satellite coffee shops, it has gotten a tad, well, corporate, for some people’s tastes. Now, with a Flying Star just around the corner from Java Joe’s, and a Satellite around the corner from RB Winnings, what are the little guys to do? At last look RB Winnings and Java Joe’s still had their loyal followings, their funky couches, their homemade art on the walls. So I’m not worried. And besides, when was the last time you got to hob knob with the Senior Senator From New Mexico at the Blue Dragon? Sorry, but it’s just not his scene.

On a work day, when I need to feel a little less alone in the world, I’ve taken to scheduling back-to-back meetings at Flying Star. I’ll set up my laptop on the balcony and order something with each meeting, to make sure that Flying Star doesn’t feel cheated by the fact that I occupy one single table for three or four hours at a time. Today, I had quiche lorraine with Celestia. Then I had a bagel and coffee with Megan, and finally a piece of chocolate cake with my three o’clock.

Last week I met Stacy, a gal pal, for brunch. Then ran into former Secretary of Economic Development John Garcia. Then into another Stacy, Stacy Sacco, veritable marketing guy about town. With that triumverate all in the same place at the same time (unplanned) I managed to begin planning the New West launch party (details coming soon), wrangle a possible ad, and pick up a freelance editing job all at once. The band Wagogo was playing so I talked to them about music for the launch party, too.

And today, to start off the networking week with a bang, I caught a moment with Sen. Jeff Bingaman. He and an aide were lunching in the back corner but he stopped by my table on the way out to say hi, and I handed him my New West business card. I did not complain about the energy bill, because they were off in a flash.

My last appointment of the day was with the Other Senior Senator from New Mexico’s sister, but she had to cancel. So, while you all might think I’m slacking off, hanging around in a coffee shop all day, I ask you this: where else could you do all that networking in one place, plus have chocolate cake, magazines and coffee, too?

About Emily Esterson

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