A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 29, 2013
Lonely Seat (solo restaurant dining)

“Lonely seats” (bocchi seki in Japanese) for solo dining were installed in Kyoto University and Kobe University in Japan. Students can dine by themselves without being bothered by other diners.
The Japanese trend for “lonely seats” made news in the United States on July 29. 2013.
Japanese University Makes Special “Forever Alone” Dining Tables
July 29, 2013, 5:30 am
One of Japan’s most prestigious institutions, Kyoto University, has installed new lunchroom seats for students who don’t want others to watch them while they eat. Alone.
The seats are called “bocchi seki” (ぼっち席), with “bocchi” meaning “alone” in Japanese.
According to Asahi News, Kyoto University first installed the “lonely seats” last spring at its engineering school campus while it was refurbishing the dining hall. The university special ordered ten dining tables with 50-centimeter dividers in the middle.
Japanese Lonely Seats Hide Your Solo Dining Shame
Monday, July 29, 2013, by Paula Forbes
So that its students will not have to endure the humiliation of actually eating with each other, Kyoto University and Kobe University in Japan have installed “lonely seats” (bocchi seki) in its dining hall. The seats have a barrier that runs down the middle of the table that prevents eye contact between diners. This is apparently a good thing? It’s designed to help busy students avoid the pressure to socialize. As translated by Kotaku, one student says “When I don’t have much time or I’m in a hurry, the lonely seats are convenient.” No talking, only eating.
This marks a tide change in the world’s acceptance of solo dining: where once there were whole websites dedicated to eradicated lonely diners, now there are pop-ups dedicated to solo dining and, apparently, these Japanese dining-hall cubbies.
Kyoto University Puts ‘Lonely Seats’ in Their Dining Hall: Do You Prefer to Eat Alone or With Company?
by alison stevenson Posted July 29, 2013
New lunchroom seats have been installed inside Kyoto University in Japan and they’re called “bocchi seki” (“bocchi” meaning “alone” in Japanese.) The seats are rather popular with students, who often do not have time to sit and eat with friends for very long.
The dining tables implemented 50-centimeter dividers in the middle of the long table. This way, students can dine in privacy, not having to see or speak to the person in front of them. A 22-year-old male student told Asahi News, “If you are sitting at a big table by yourself it’s like you don’t have any friends and that is embarrassing.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Monday, July 29, 2013 • Permalink

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