"Starting in August, car owners will be able to park for free at San Francisco International Airport in exchange for allowing RelayRides to rent out their cars while they’re gone. Insurance is included, in much the same way as it works for car-sharing companies like Zipcar. The free parking even comes with a car wash and a full tank of gas."
— What If You Never Had to Pay for Parking at the Airport Again? - Emily Badger - The Atlantic Cities
"Coffitivity plays an audio feed of the optimal noise level of clinking cups and people talking. It also makes recommendations on the volume at which to overlay your own music for maximum concentration."
Streaming Fake Ambient Coffee Shop Noise Is Big in Seoul - Bonnie Tsui - The Atlantic Cities
My hypothesis: Coffee shops (Starbucks and knockoffs) are very very popular in Seoul, but are relatively expensive compared to other cities. Koreans are just being economical about getting the experience.
Why are they so popular? There’s always been a coffeehouse culture in Korea, part of the “bang” culture that carves out temporary private space in dense urban environments. Historically the quality was not so great, often instant coffee, and the rooms were darker and cozier, but Starbucks introduced high quality roasts and modern glassy interiors. The new shops became a status symbol, where young affluent people could meet and be seen, then quickly became the norm as competitors rapidly sprang up overnight (retail trends move extremely quickly in Seoul).
Meeting up with a friend or a date usually starts or ends at a coffee shop, often as a way to reciprocate after one person pays for a meal. You get used to spending a lot of time in them, until you realize how much money you’ve spent…
"At their most fundamental, cities are not really agglomerations of people; they’re agglomerations of connections between people. All of their other properties – the roads we build to reach each other, the density required to do that, the economic products and ideas we create together – derive from this fact."
— Scientific Proof That Cities Are Like Nothing Else in Nature - The Atlantic Cities