Cafe Wired

The smell of capuccino warms your nose as you enter Cafe Wired. A dozen marble-topped tables crowd the Cafe, which sits beneath a green, canvas big top. Finches perch high above on the cables that support the tent. Off to the side of the room hulks an ancient espresso machine, huge as a caliope, wheezy as your Aunt Sonya. You'd like to go in, but a small blackboard, carefully lettered in red chalk, says:

PLEASE: "Wait to be sitted."

You wonder about the improper use of quotation marks, but stand by, admiring the fine terracotta floor. An old man shuffles past, pushing a pastry cart, but when you inspect it, nothing looks worth the calories. Clusters of students, smoking cheroots, sit here and there; a pale man and woman, wearing berets, play dominos. You wish you had a pair of bongos. Plastic tubes, vast intestinal loops, drop down to connect each table. You notice the paint-ball blur of canisters moving through the pneumatic tube system and hear the satisfying thwack of another cannister hitting its mark. The cafe is outdoors and to the east you see the sprawling Piazza.

At last, the maitre d', Bob907 -- an old refugee from America Online, where he was the 907th person to request the name, Bob -- minces up to you. He is impatient, and waves you on, to find your own "sit." Indeed, all you have to do to find a seat is type: "sit"

Wired Sign is here.