On my soapbox again

In that bag she has five pairs of Victoria’s undies…a girl of luxury

I’d become a bit dependent on The Coffee Beanery at the mall. When you have a baby, you start thinking about the easiest way to get in and out of places. Carrying him into the local coffee shop and exiting with him and a hot, steaming mocha just didn’t seem right (lest I spill). Nor did the effort expended to haul out the stroller and buckle him in, just to grab a quick drink.

So I enjoyed the opportunity to down a mocha at the mall, pushing the stroller ’round and ’round with one hand as I sipped. Safer for him. Quite easy enough for me.

A sign was posted in January saying that the Beanery would be closing down. Rats! This seems a bit unfair. I came back in February to see that they were still open, so I asked about the state of things. End of the month, the girl nicely told me. A lot of moving and shaking is going on at Woodland. Rumor has it an Apple store is moving in. Other stores are shifting spaces. It’s a wee bit confusing. So I just assumed the store had given up the space for someone bigger and better.

Indeed. As Tracy and I strolled the main hallway the other night, what appeared before my eyes? A big ‘ol Starbucks logo. Holy cow, man! As if we don’t have enough of that coffee giant in our midst. There’s a kiosk in every darn grocery store in this town. And now they have to force out a much-smaller competitor (owned by a local person) to take over the mall? I want options, damn it. I don’t want every cup of coffee or tea that passes my lips to be brewed by that bully from Seattle.

I’m a bit flabbergasted that people fall for all of this really. Every town is becoming a cookie-cutter image of every other town. Do you really want to be overrun by Applebee’s, Chili’s, Wal-Mart, and now Starbucks?

When we took our vacation to Vancouver a while back, my husband and I stood on a corner, deciding which direction to head. On our left was a Starbucks. Then we both gaped in awe as we turned our heads. On our right, directly kitty-corner (midwest phrase), was another Starbucks. Enough, people! To express my discontent, I determinedly avoided every one of their stores in Vancouver and Seattle. Determindedly!

When I travel, I want to sample the fare of the city I’m in. And when I reside in a city, I want to do the same. I want to experience the flavors and atmosphere that make my city unique. I’m truly afraid that we’re erasing those flavors. The Coffee Beanery is certainly another chain. I won’t argue that. But please tell me that local coffee houses like Four Friends, Kava House, and J.W.’s won’t go away. That’s all I’m asking.