As always, bloggers are seduced by the globe and the clock. In one of our 24 time zones, I pour hot water over coffee beans in San Francisco, and 8 timezones away, another girl is sipping a cocktail with friends at the end of the day. We know this intellectually, but it’s difficult to get your hands around it — this chain of storytelling that allows me to have close friends I’ve never met who send me their stories from distant shores. To visualize this global narrative, and celebrate our connection, four bloggers (including myself) have brought you this visual guide to the interlocking hours in our lives around the world. We will not be handing off a baton, but instead showing the same minute in all four of our cities. At the exact moment that it’s 8am in the morning for me in San Francisco, it’s 11am for Naomi in Philidelphia, 5pm for Julie in London, and midnight for Judith in Seoul. I invite you to travel throughout the day and globe with us — please read on, and follow each story below to its respective author’s blog.
Today I had my morning coffee in Paris.
For a few months now M has been in and out of the house at all hours of the day and night; working behind the scenes on a special project for one of San Francisco’s many tech startups — Airbnb. Somehow along the way he drew the short end of the stick and became a permanent fixture on the 6am weekend shift. I don’t know about you, but I’m cursed with the inability to fall back asleep once I’ve been woken in the morning — not matter what time of the morning — once I’m awake, that’s it. So when I was woken this particular Saturday early in the AM, I tossed and turned for an hour or two, and then decided to follow him.
Airbnb is one of those glossy tech companies that keeps a full time kitchen staff, serving its employees breakfast, lunch and dinner — but not on the weekends, and there aren’t really a lot of food options this early in the day in San Francisco. We’re a town that likes to sleep in and start the weekend around noon with a boozy brunch. If you’re up before then your best bet is one of our many coffee shops serving up freshly baked pastries and small bites, which is just what I did, so today picking up a breakfast sandwich for me and a sticky carmel morning bun for M from a nearby bakery (L’acajou to be precise) just around the corner from Airbnb’s HQ. The giant building is quiet at this hour; early light streaming from the enormous skylight over the central courtyard, and when I take the elevators up I can see the night fog just beginning to thin over the Eastern half of the city. There may be no kitchen staff working today, but the 169,000 sq. ft. HQ is fully stocked from one side to the other with artisanal coffee, beer and wine on tap, make-your-own-sandwich stations, in-house yogurt, bins and bins of granola and other dry goods, and more Smegs than I could imagine in my wildest dreams. Until visiting Airbnb, I’d heard a lot of rumors about the insane perks available in the start up industries – they’ll do your laundry, change the oil in your tires, there’s masseuses on staff, full time baristas! – and if Airbnb is any sort of indicator the truth is a bit less glamorous, but still rather mind boggling. No full time barista (here you brew your own pour overs) but still an environment unlike any office space I’ve ever seen.
The beans here are from De La Paz, a local roaster I hadn’t really experienced before the office introduced me to them. Now they’re the only thing I buy for my own home. Today I pour myself a steaming cup into thick mugs and slip away to a quiet room. Airbnb has around a dozen conference rooms — each one themed to replicate a different Airbnb listing from around the world, down to every last piece of wallpaper, photograph, or amount and flavor of donuts. And on a day like this, there’s hardly a one of the hundreds of weekday employees around to find it it unusual when I settle in with my coffee and laptop to Paris, Milan or Bali. Beginning the day like this may be an earlier start than I would have chosen, but I’ve come not to mind it so much. Today, I have Paris all to myself, and I kickstart my weekend over strong coffee and bloggery, while all around me the glass walls begin to lighten, as the summer fog pulls away towards the ocean; brightening our little corner of the world.
Here in Philadelphia on a Saturday morning, I had four friends walking in the door. As they arrived, I was putting the finishing touches on a brunch spread I had prepared using my favorite local and organic ingredients. For me, two things are important when it comes to food: home cooked and ethically-sourced. It’s not necessarily the most common way to consume food in this country, but it is one that is held in high regard. People here love a home cooked meal. And people here love food they can feel good about. Also, it should be noted that brunch is a very American thing… a brilliant custom if you ask me…
See and read all about Naomi’s Philadelphia brunch over at her blog – Numie Abbot
There are a lot of things I could be doing in London at 4pm on a Saturday, but if I’m honest, I’m usually at the pub. This is partly because it’s always raining and I need to take cover, and partly because the national sport of England is getting outlandishly drunk on every imaginable occasion (2pm on Tuesday? Sure, I’ll have a beer. 11am on Sunday? Pour me a pint, sir.).
It’s really because pubs have always been hubs of social interaction in the UK. It’s a unique phenomenon that I’ve never found anywhere else, and it works amazingly well. Every neighborhood has it’s “local”, as they’re called, and everyone ends up there at, say, 4pm on Saturday…
See and read more about Julie’s favorite pubs over at her blog – A Lady in London
It’s midnight now in South Korea, and I’ve already had a delicious dinner of pizza and beer with my boyfriend in Itaewon. We usually have date night on Friday and go out for dinner and a movie, but the air about tonight feels a bit different than normally. Maybe we’ve had one too many craft beers or maybe it’s the change in the weather as it slips further and further into a sticky, humid summer that is making us crave a different kind of fun tonight. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we find what we’re looking for: strong cocktails, conversations with strangers, and a guilty midnight snack. After a brisk walk around the streets passed noisy lounges and overpriced wine bars, we decide the area we’re in doesn’t have what we want, so we hop in a cab and take the short drive to Noksapyeong. We feel the electricity in the air the moment we hit the busy streets crowded with people from all over the world…