Farewell Friends

Farewell London. Rozloučení Prague.

Farewell to new colleagues I have met and friends we have made.

Each city inspired us to see the world through a new lense. Together we opened our ethnographers’ eyes to new cultures and began to see how brands move across cultures. The truth is, I could only guess at how this class would unfold. I had a plan and a lot of industry contacts. But, blending two universities and 15 people (who didn’t know one another) and dropping them into foreign lands was not a sure bet for success. It was, however, an assured adventure. And what an adventure it turned out to be.

Together we immersed ourselves into worlds unknown, opened our sense to unfamiliar cultures in search of their unique cultural codes for autos, beer and fashion. My students were like sponges and I ran them ragged. We traversed each city moving from ad agencies, to neighborhoods, and then on to shopping malls and auto dealers, often ending up at pubs. We attended classical concerts, visited museums, and walked historical streets. In short we were students of culture. To see the cultural codes they determined for each sector, check the comments below or their sector links. Enjoy!

To my students I say, it was a privilege to be your teacher and to learn side by side.

To my gracious colleagues, a heartfelt thank you.

Jean

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6 responses to “Farewell Friends

  1. Cultural Code for Fashion in Czech

    We started our group cultural code from puppets, goulash, cartoons, etc. Rather than figuring out the cultural code with metaphor, in the end, we came to functionality.

    The functionality in fashion world is rooted in Czech people’s daily lives two decades ago. Before the revolution in 1989, under the rule of Communism, people dressed according to clothes’ practicality. Communism supports the core value of “being equal” and everything should be cheap. In other words, brands and to be good-looking are not their most important concerns during clothes purchasing, because everyone should dress according to what they need and where they work.

    For example, men rarely wore T-shirt and jacket in the past. However, they usually just wore overall, which is easier for them to work in the factory or farm. Also, for women, they often wore scarves, which helps to prevent dirts during working. So, before the revolution, on the one hand, Czech people didn’t have a lot of choices for clothes. On the other hand, their mindset and the culture indicated them to dress functionally and practically.

    With the twenty-one years development till now, people have gained a lot of freedom for purchasing clothes and other fashion products. But it’s hard for them to change their shopping habits and mindsets immediately, especially for old generations. Most Czech people still live in small towns. It’s not that convenient to reach a lot of international brands. Also, according to the average income in Czech, a large number of people can’t really afford them. So they are loyal to local brands, markets and independent shops and functionality is still the key factor they will take into account during purchasing. In some sense, international fashion brands are just a symbolism of free market after revolution.

    Everyone we’ve talked to has stressed the divide between the old generation and the new generation. Not only do these two groups of Czech people have different memories of the change in the country, but they have vastly different perceptions on fashion and shopping. The older generation is very traditional. They are loyal to local markets and shops. They don’t see the need to change their habits and don’t have an enormous desire to buy expensive fashion. The younger generation, however, is slowly but surely adapting to the new shopping experience. Hypermarkets and mega-malls are attracting more and more people as the younger Czech generation is becoming more interested in name-brand clothing. Young girls enjoy getting together with their friends and going shopping for a day, while the older generation still prefers shopping in local markets by their homes.

    Sitting outside of Tesco, Lisa noticed something that contributed specifically to the culture code we chose. The Czech consumer’s process of leaving the Tesco was pretty unique. As many people exited the store, they immediately reorganized their purchases, and analyzed everything they had bought that day. We thought this routine action was really interesting because Czech people spend so much time choosing products pre-purchase, and now they were still analyzing those purchases even after they had been made. The shoppers would come out, look at their receipt, and refer back to the things that they bought one by one. One older man even stopped, took his glasses out of his case, looked over his receipt for about ten minutes, took them off, put them in the case, and then carried on with his day. This man probably brought those glasses along with him for exactly that purpose, which means that he does it every time he goes shopping. From these observations, we came up with the subject of Czechs as very price sensitive and interested in quality. Czech people will only buy something if the product’s inherent value is worth just as much, if not more, than the price that they are paying. It’s not that Czechs won’t pay a lot of money for something, but when they do, they will be sure that what they are buying is worth every crown it costs. As we learned through conversation with some of the staff at Garp, once a year, there is a huge sale for designer labels that Czech fashion magazines create special issues for. In these magazines are coupons for these sales. Czech consumers interesting in buying high-end brands will often wait all year for this sales period because it is when they will get the best deal.

    It was interesting to understand Czech’s without knowing the language, but we used our resources with the English-speaking people at the agencies we visited and our assistant Honsa. Through our discussions with those people we realized a huge difference in American culture and Czech culture when it comes to brands. In the suburban America we know well it is common for people to buy a North Face just to buy a North Face. When it comes to Czech culture they care more about the price, quality and functions a jacket would perform for them. If it happens that North Face fits all the things they are looking for then so be it, but brand is not a primary part of their choices.

    Czech people dress for the specific occasion they will be in. First and foremost, the weather condition and the amount of time they will be outside affects what they’re going to wear. Comfortable shoes are necessary if the walk to work is a long one. They’ll put on a coat if it’s cold, and not worry about whether or not it 100% matches their ensemble. Men don’t wear nice jackets, blazers, or shirts unless they’re going to a wedding, funeral, or other dressy occasion. Since many Czech people own cottages for weekend excursions, mountaineering clothing stores are very popular. Therefore, the ridiculously expensive pieces of clothing that don’t really serve a purpose are disregarded. This might be why there are not a lot of fashion ads. The Czech people don’t need to purchase the clothing, so they won’t appreciate the ad. They dress for a very specific, functional purpose.

    Another one of the major points we observed was that practicality if very important to Czechs. Practicality goes hand in had with functionality because Czechs want to purchase clothing that is not only functional in the sense that it works best for them but also what they buy and where they shop needs to be practical and convenient for them as well. Clothes that make day-to-day life easier and comfortable are essential, since walking and public transportation are popular in the Czech Republic, residents are going to want clothes and shoes that are comfortable for walking and traveling. It doesn’t make sense for Czechs to wear some of the trends that may be popular in other parts of the world because they are not practical for them.

    However, just because the Czechs may not be following all the latest cutting edge fashions and trends, it doesn’t mean that they are not concerned with how they look. Czechs still want to look good and look put together. While we observed that Czechs walking down the street may not have been as chic and sophisticated as the trend setters in London, they still looked like they thought about what they put on in the morning. The main point to take away about Czechs and looking good is that they go about looking stylish in a different way than other cultures. Czechs are not going to follow trends that are not practical and functional in their day-to-day lives activities. Also they are not going to splurge on trends that are overly expensive either because spending a large portion of their income is not practical either. Czechs are concerned with being practical in their clothing choices but also concerned with looking and feeling good about what they wear.

    Overall, our cultural code for fashion in Czech is functionality. In some sense, the role of functionality also explains why there is almost no fashion advertising in Czech Republic. In this small market, for Czech people, fashion doesn’t stands for brands, but functions.

  2. Group Cultural Code for Fashion in UK – Gin Martini

    Yiting: Mixture
    The mixture of fashion world in UK reflects its variety of products, brands, shopping environments, consumers’ different attitudes toward fashion, as well as their shopping and consumption habits. British people are quite comfortable to embrace various trends and styles in fashion. Even though they might not like all of them, they choose to embrace them rather than judge. So in some sense, it is the openness of the embracing in fashion that make British people to dress and do shopping more confidently. Moreover, they enjoy the re-designing their own pieces with out-of-dated fabrics and accessories.

    Besides, as an island country in Europe, in UK, the mixed culture originated from the immigrants and tourists from different cultures drives brands in fashion industry to mix the British vintage styles with the modern trends, which plays a vital role in reaching more audiences. Moreover, in UK, there’s a wide choices of shopping environment, including high-end department store, middle-level stores and flea market. Especially, the flea market provides more opportunities for the communication between salesperson and consumers about products and brands.

    Lauren: Individuality
    My culture code for the UK is individuality. While there were drastic differences between Manchester and London in styles, trends, and shopping habits I felt that both cultures placed a heavy weight on the individual and being true to who you are. In London people followed the trends but added their own twists to the trends. They weren’t afraid to mix it up and try something new and different. Also people stayed true to themselves regardless of class. People that could afford nice things would defiantly splurge and buy high end designers and brands. Even those in the lower and middle class stayed true to themselves. You didn’t see any lower cost brands trying to emulate higher end brands. The stores themselves also stayed true to what they were and were all very individual and unique. Each store gave the shopper an individual shopping experience different from other stores and brands. I think in both London and Manchester individuality was an important quality to the people, fashions, and stores.

    Suz: Confidence
    If I could describe UK Fashion in one word I would pick confidence. There is a vibrant blend of colors and styles represented in London fashion. I saw confidence in women 40+ shopping in the same stores I like to shop in, and from what I gathered by the numbers, shopping for themselves.

    There was a confidence in the pieces that people chose to put together. As mixed as they may have been, they always looked great because they wore their outfits with confidence. I have never seen a guy with a zip up hoodie under a blazer…but it looked great.

    The other strong notion of confidence i saw was in terms of body. There was a sense of beauty within each person because I saw people rocking outfits that showed off their curves. There was a comfort with their own bodies that you don’t normally see and it made them even more beautiful.

    There were subtle hints towards the fact that people chose their outfits because they liked what they were wearing…and if they were the only people that agreed with it, it was ok. I’m not saying people were poorly dressed because that is exact opposite of what we saw in London.

    We saw a warped sophistication, with a twist of their own style, and with that I say Londoners are a confident bunch.

    Lisa: Contrast
    My individual culture code for UK fashion was contrast. The two most common types of contrast were between mixing old vintage with new and mixing different prints and textures of fabrics together. One way that the Brits differ from consumers in the US is that they have a lot less room to put their “stuff”. Accessories are a great way to tie two contrasting pieces together, and they play a huge role in UK fashion. It is not a part of UK culture to accumulate huge amounts of clothing generally, or large amounts of anything for that matter. Think about the amount of money people spend hiring organizers for their closets or buying storage units for their extra things; this is not a phenomenon that typically exists in the UK. For example, instead of buying a whole new spring wardrobe, someone from the UK would go out shopping looking for a few newer, trendy things that would go with something that they already have in an interesting way, or maybe that person would go to a thrift store looking for these pieces.

    Jeannie: Embracing and Loving the Unique

    London was a great place to observe styles and trends because almost everyone had their own distinct style. While there were some patterns, I noticed that everyone had their own spin on the idea. Uniqueness is key. The mannequins in the store windows featured layers and mixtures of clothing, the stores themselves had wide varieties of trends, and I never saw an outfit repeated twice. Even if someone was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, they would add a piece of flair (brightly colored shoes, an interesting necklace, a colorful bag, etc) to spice up the outfit. Shoppers only carried a few items around with them and purchased what was true to their style because they were comfortable and true to their own unique fashion sense. They didn’t shop in large, busy groups – they were calm, collected, and accustomed to shopping for pieces that they wanted. London shoppers embrace not only their own unique style, but also everyone else’s.

    Group Culture Code: Gin Martini
    After brainstorming and bouncing ideas around, our group decided that the culture code for fashion in UK was Gin Martini. We were inspired by our visit to Vinopolis. We learned about Bombay Sapphire Gin and how London Gin, mixology, and bar tending were such a huge part of London’s culture and history. Therefore, we believe that Martini is the perfect cultural code to reflect fashion in the UK for several reasons.

    The stores, consumers’ shopping behaviors and attitudes towards products, and the dressing styles in UK possess Martini’s most important features: the versatility, variety and uniqueness. A Martini can be customized and made in a million different ways but always begins with the basics of gin, vermouth, and shake or stir in some ice.

    For example, the fashion market in London could be compared to a martini up with any added flavor such as a pom-pom martini, choco-tini, blueberry martini, etc. These martinis are specialized and have some added flare to a classic drink. Just as Londoners try to add their own spin to classic looks and trends. Martini is a very trendy drink and people in London were all pretty trendy and cutting edge with their looks. Not only were the people trendy, but the stores were trendy as well. The stores are like the glass of martini, creative, changeable and various. Martini is trying to find the best fit glass to reflect and strengthen its personality, which is the same with the shopping environment in UK. The cheaper vintage stores also aimed to be “the place to be.”

    With Manchester on the other hand, one could say it is more of a dirty gin martini on the rocks. This drink is the same basic cocktail without the extra garnishes, flavors, and fancy glass. This drink looks pretty generic and yet when you taste it, there is a powerful kick with the potent olive juice. Manchester is a working-class city. The people, fashions, and stores there are like dirty gin martini as well. They are nearly as upscale and trendy as those in London. People prefer to buy what is comfortable and what they like and keep it traditional. However what the fashion lacks, they made up for it with spunky personalities and sense of humor. Ever the stores in Manchester are not what they appear to be. For instance, Affleck’s Palace looks like a big warehouse. But once you are inside the store, you will have an impressive memory of the unexpected interior and shopping experience there because of its uniqueness with vintage, goth, and trendy clothing along with eclectic accessories and gifts.

    More generally, the experience of shopping in London is very similar to the experience of enjoying a martini. Going out for a martini is a calm and sophisticated social experience where a person can enjoy the company of their friends. It is a special event and a memorable one as well. Londoners go shopping for the social experience.

  3. Czech Cultural Code & Wrap Up

    During our week in the Czech Republic and observing autos, we worked backwards in coming to our cultural code. Initially, we were too stuck on looking at the cars themselves rather than the individuals and what cars meant to them personally.

    To briefly summarize our process of deriving our cultural code, we began with the idea of “self expression” or “graffiti.” We arrived at these concepts after attending a Skoda auto show and visiting local dealerships. We noticed how car enthusiasts customized their Skodas and also how the same process was available at each car manufacturer. This lead us to think that self expression defined how Czechs view cars, but we realized that this was not inclusive of everything that a car represents to Czech people. We had to take a step and remove our American lenses. We needed to look at the way Czech people understood and viewed cars.

    In our process of working backwards we started to see a trend in how both the lecturers and agency people explained Czech culture in terms of the historical implications of the Velvet Revolution and the resulting emotional internalization within Czech people. While this may seem irrelevant to cars, it directly applies to how Czech people view their vehicles. Another important fact we learned was the average income of Czechs is $12,000-15,000 (USD), which affects the number of people who have the means to own a car. For instance, the Skoda factory line workers who make more than the average person does in a year cannot afford a new Skoda, which indicates how much work and therefore money goes into purchasing a car.

    Taking these three aspects into consideration (historical underpinnings, internalized emotions, and lower average income), we were torn between HOPE and PRECIOUS for our cultural codes. At first, HOPE seemed like an appropriate option because we thought that HOPE symbolizes the Czech people’s desire and dreams to continue improving their lives, especially given the country’s break from communism in 1989. HOPE, however, was too broad and did not capture the Czechs’ valuation of autos. Therefore, we thought PRECIOUS encompassed the Czech people’s emotional connection to the cars they own and for those who do not have one, their perception of cars.

    PRECIOUS goes beyond a Czech person spending hours on a weekend washing a car or taking care of it, but taps into the emotion and how he or she appreciates the car because he or she knows what it takes to have one: money, time, and labor. Unlike the American car culture, Czechs have an unparalleled appreciation for owning a car. It symbolizes that they are on the track to success both financially and personally. Czechs view cars as means of “freedom” that prior to 1989 they did not possess.

    So what?

    Coming to Prague, we did not know what the perception of autos would be in Czech Republic and were surprised by the huge cultural significance that comes with owning a car. In summary, in Czech: “Auta jsou drahé.”

    -Bridget D., Bridget M., Jim, Lydia, and Jamie

  4. Excess “Pounds”

    London and Manchester, England. For most of us, this was our first time overseas, let alone in the UK, and we could not have asked for better weather or a greater educational experience. We learned to navigate the Underground and find our way home when we got lost, but on a more important note, we discovered more about the relationship between people and their autos.

    Check out our findings:

    In summary, we noticed three main trends. First, the Underground tube and the bus systems in London provide a practical and user friendly option to Londoners in the city. Second, the high costs associated with owning a vehicle in the city such as the weekday congestion charges, daily parking fees, and the basic maintenance costs serve as key deterrents to car ownership.

    Despite the negatives of driving a car in the city, we noticed a third trend based on individuals who owned a car in central London. People who owned a car outside of the city primarily used the car for errands, and they lived in either the outskirts of London or beyond. When interviewing shoppers at ASDA, which was an interesting process in itself, we found that their primary use for a car was for the necessities in life such as driving to work or running errands. This came as no surprise to us since public transportation was not as centralized in the suburbs as it is in the heart of London.

    VW dealership outside of London–the salesperson said a majority of car buyers were working, middle class people
    Conversely, some affluent people living in the city who have countless public transportation options chose to own a car. Being outsiders visiting the UK, we wanted to focus on central London and explore this trend further.

    Spotting certain trends seemed easy, but we wanted to answer a few key questions. What makes each individual act the way they do? What drives them to buy a car? What is their personal and emotional connection with it? What is their perception of cars? Answering these questions brings us to our culture code: DESSERT.

    What does apple crumble, crème brulee, chocolate brownies, ice cream, hot fudge sundaes, and mochi balls all have in common? They are all different types of dessert. What goes behind eating a dessert? Sometimes, we decide it is necessary; it concludes a satisfying meal. For others, it is unnecessary, and it makes us burst at the seams. Dessert might be convenient when we grab gelato at an outdoor stand, yet it can also be inconvenient when we are in a hurry to pay the bill and leave a restaurant. During a harsh breakup, a tub of Ben & Jerry’s might be what the doctor ordered and absolutely needed, but often times the excess calories and stomach ache should be avoided. Some people splurge on a first date, ordering a starter, main, and a dessert while others decide to watch their pounds (no pun intended) and skip the sweets.

    So how does this relate to vehicles?

    We look at it this way: any form of public transportation is similar to a main at a restaurant. Think of an entree as public transportation in London: people ride the tube or buses to get from point A to point B. However, when people decide to purchase a car, this is similar to ordering a dessert at the end of a meal; it is usually unnecessary, can be inconvenient, and requires more money. These tensions that occur while deciding to order dessert are also apparent when people choose to own a car in central London.

    Another way of looking at DESSERT is its quality. For example, a high-priced dessert such as creme brulee would be more costly and luxurious than a simple biscuit served during tea. A pricey dessert represents an expensive car such as a Range Rover, BMW, Mercedes, or Ferrari, whereas a cheaper option reflects a budget vehicle such as VW or Citroen. From this perspective, car owners in central London would be likened to chunky apple crumble (a British favorite), whereas working class car owners living in the outskirts of the city represent a basic biscuit.

    Think of an expensive, luxurious car like an Aston Martin as a delicacy or high-priced dessert
    We also came to our DESSERT culture code by looking at people’s first memories that we interviewed. The associations from their past experience often reflected their choices in the future.

    Say hypothetically when you were younger, you might remember that your grandfather took you out for a special ice cream treat on your birthday to celebrate. From that point on, you remember this experience as fun, exciting, loving, and positive. This is an example directly relating back to one of our interviewees who had a positive experience with cars in childhood. The woman remembered playing in the back of her family’s Bedford van, using the back seats that pulled down as a her draw bridges and gateways to imaginary worlds. This distinct first memory may have subconsciously propelled this woman into driving the car she owns today. It can be inferred that her car offers the same possibilities and opportunities that her family’s van had done in an imaginary sense.

    Our group struggled making DESSERT applicable to British culture, but we believe we are certainly on the right track. As we learned, we could not have gone into our ethnography and research with a specific culture code in mind because it would have skewed our findings. Instead, we observed and let the patterns emerge naturally, which is how we arrived at DESSERT: it is often unnecessary, inconvenient, and an added cost, yet people still indulge and go the “extra mile” to satisfy their “sweet tooth” whether the person has an unlimited budget or tight wallet.

    As we wrap up our last week of the program here in Prague, we will be looking for patterns and the underlying culture code in the Czech Republic for autos.

    -Bridget D., Bridget M., Jim, Lydia, and Jamie

  5. Czech Culture Code for Beer: Liquid Bread

    Our initial Culture Code for beer in the Czech Republic was simple: water. Just as water fuels life, beer fuels Czech culture. Czechs are known around the world for their beer, and enjoy the local drink as evidenced by their outstanding consumption level and loyalty to their local brews. It is not unusual for Czech people to drink beer at different times during the day, including at lunch, after work, and with dinner. It is so deeply ingrained in their culture that it has become ubiquitous, like water. Other cultures may bring water to your table at a restaurant and continue to fill your glass throughout the evening. In the Czech Republic, if you order beer, the waiter will continue to fill your glass during the course of the meal until you say otherwise. Not to mention that in many cases, beer costs less at a restaurant or pub than water.

    Taking the water analogy further, many towns and villages throughout the Czech Republic have their own breweries, like each town probably used its own well as a water source. As towns relied on the wells for survival, the Czech beer culture relies on the breweries to survive. Because the Czech Republic is landlocked, it has no direct access to water. On the other hand, the geographical conditions are ideal for growing the ingredients to create beer. In our minds, it seemed as if beer has taken the place of water in this country.

    The water argument summed up a lot about Czech beer culture, but it did not account for the pride that Czechs feel for their beer. Also, the concept of water is not culturally specific. Given the need for a Culture Code for beer more specific to the Czech Republic, we regrouped and came to our final cultural code for beer: liquid bread.

    As bread is to many cultures, beer is a daily staple in the Czech Republic. One might eat bread in the morning, midday for lunch, and with dinner. Our group was surprised when our tour guides, Tomas and Tomas, stopped for a 10 a.m. beer on the way to the castle. This was not typical behavior for them, but it wasn’t as if they batted an eye either. Similarly, beer is often consumed with lunch, as well as dinner. As we heard from several people, Czech people do not think about beer as alcohol and do not drink to get drunk. Rather, beer is a common, plentiful beverage that tastes good.

    Ancient Czechs found beer to be refreshing, tasty and cheap: all adjectives that work for bread. Both are also nourishing, as they are made from essentially the same ingredients – water, grains, and yeast. Flash forward to the Socialist era in the Czech Republic, and the government provided Czechs with beer, bread and meat as rations. Being plentiful in these staples provided the people with a sense of abundance and the feeling that they must be doing well to have so much. These items, bread and meat, are essential dietary items for survival, and it is interesting to note that beer was included as a staple.

    Liquid bread also accounts for the social aspect of beer. Bread is placed at the center of the table, around which people come together. In fact, the term “breaking bread” means to come together and share around the table. Beer is also commonly shared in social situations, whether with friends, family or other acquaintances. People told us that they go to pubs to socialize, and beer happens to be what they drink.

    Bread is nourishing, social, and consumed daily. Beer is liquid bread.

    -Jon, Julia, Kara, Katelyn & Luke

  6. UK Cultural Code for Beer: Boat

    The culture code for beer in the United Kingdom is boat. A boat is vehicle that transports you to a destination. Similarly, beer can be the vehicle that can transport you to the destination of intoxication. While this is not always the case, it is just one of the parallels in this analogy. A boat can also be a leisurely method of travel that does not take you anywhere in particular. Various types of boats and the speeds at which they travel can get you to your destination at different speeds. Along these lines, different kinds of beer and their respective alcohol content levels affect the speed at which a person may become drunk, or provide a form of casual entertainment.

    Continuing with this metaphor, traveling by a slower boat is about having a leisurely experience and enjoying the company and environment around you. For example, in Manchester, we observed long, narrow canal boats traveling slowly down a canal through the English countryside. The passengers aboard these boats took pride in their vessel. This type of boat ride also indulges all of the senses. Passengers can enjoy the calm sound of the water, a quiet breeze and the smell of the wood. A canal boat parallels a type of beer that is enjoyed slowly and leisurely, such as a locally brewed, hand pulled English ale. A canal boat can also parallel a local pub (as experienced in both London and Manchester) with a wooden interior where locals can enjoy their favorite brews and indulge all of their senses.

    Unlike the leisurely, wooden boats, modern boats are constructed with new materials and sleek designs. More modern types of boats equate to more modern bars, such as some of those we experienced in London, where the emphasis is on design and speed of service. These bars are louder than pubs and less conversational; in other words, they are more about the destination than the journey. Speeding along to get to a final destination could also result in crashing the boat as well (drinking too much too fast). Just as there are many types of boats, there are many varieties of beer – dark beers, lagers, ales, local, global, etc.

    The code boat is also fitting to the British culture as the country takes pride in its Royal Navy. The Royal Navy has a long history that dates back to 900 AD and has played a vital role in the history of the UK. In addition, a popular phrase for consuming a lot of alcoholic beverages is “drinking like a sailor.” Similarly, beer has a long history in the UK and locals take pride in their own unique beer culture.

    Lastly, the crew of a ship represents a fraternal group of men who work and interact together. Our observations in London and Manchester and the feedback we received in both cities demonstrate that drinking beer in the UK is a male dominated activity. As we saw in London, business men gathered at pubs after work to share a pint, standing around outside the exterior perimeter of the building. In many ways, these men resembled boats moored at a marina.

    -Jon, Julia, Kara, Katelyn, Luke

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