I went through a phase a few years ago where I was fairly addicted to Starbucks and their lattes. I also lived in an apartment complex with no sense of community and in a town with no center.
Now I live in a real old town and have discovered a lot of those places that people lament the loss of when talking about the expansion of Starbucks and Walgreens.
Still, in my first few years here I fervently wished they’d open a Starbuck’s somewhere in town, since I had to drive (gasp) 15 minutes to get my favourite coffee.
Since then I’ve tightened the purse strings a bit and realized that a multi-dollar coffee is a nice treat, but not exactly one of life’s essentials. I’ve also come to enjoy watching generations of the same families gather at local diners, chatting with the staff, and enjoying the sense of permanence these things offer.
Well, today’s paper reports that I’m finally getting my no-longer-wished for Starbucks, but at what a price.
They are moving and mothballing the Vale Rio diner, closing down and reusing The Fountain Inn to build a Walgreen’s.
So, I can save myself a 15 minute drive to get a Starbuck’s but in exchange I have the prospect of never popping down to the Vale Rio again (unless the borough council gets its act together — something it is not known for — and finds it a new home).
That cup of coffee is going to taste pretty bitter.