Under the Counter


One of the few public power sockets available to the hordes of tourists who visit Battery Park in Lower Manhattan is located in a Starbucks, in the frame of the plate glass windows that front the coffee shop. The plug is near the floor, behind the counters where customers nurse expensive cups of coffee and enjoy the view of the park, the harbor and the Statue of Liberty. To get at the socket, the power-hungry have to crawl under the metal framework that supports the counter, and then contort themselves unnaturally to get their power cord into the socket, and then risk the feet, knees and hot coffee of all the patrons who are so busy admiring the view that they don't notice the poor stranger crouched beneath the counter.

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