Wednesday, July 2, 2008

There's a Starbucks on Every Corner

I always thought the phrase, "There's a Starbucks on every corner," was an exaggeration until my bus ride to the ferry today.

"Look Mom, another one!" A boy with pasty legs squealed and pointed emphathetically at the Starbucks on the corner.

"There really is a Starbucks on every corner, just like the tour guide said, " said the boys mother, "how many are we at now?"

"I think at last count we'd hit 100."

"But we missed a few blocks, so we must be at 700 now."

I couldn't believe my ears. Tourists in our grand city are actually counting Starbucks as they roam the streets. I always thought the sheer numer of coffee shops in this city was normal, but then I remembered that people don't live like this in other parts of the country. They aren't seen every day with an Americano, or a Vanilla Latte as they talk about the latest trends in technology or the airline business. People in other parts of the country drink Folgers and Instant coffee, maybe even try out the new lattes at McDonalds.

I noticed this when I visited Austin, Texas. Sure, there were a few coffee shops, but Starbucks stores were actually a mile apart rather than a block apart. I noticed in that part of the country, life is slower. People wander around, smiling and laughing. They seem relaxed when they talk, not frantically trying to run the next errand, or the next red light.

Sometimes I think the coffee culture will be our demise. Why do we constantly have to be super caffeinated? Why are we so tired and worn out that we need to buy a $4 cup of coffee? Let's just all take a deep breath, chill, speak slowly, and grab a cup of raspberry green tea.

I know, its easier said than done.


Travis said...

hahaha...seriously Kristin this made me laugh outloud. I love the picture of a tourist mom and son counting starbucks. seriously...wonderful.

Lisa said...

It's so true, too! When I moved back to Seattle from Cleveland, I was blown away by the fact that 95 percent of those people walking had a beverage, usually coffee in one hand, and a cellphone in the other. And, I couldn't believe how FAST people talked, and that they actually vibrated when they talked. It frightens me to think I don't notice that vibration anymore. It can only mean I am vibrating at the same frequency too. There's a lot to be said for slowing time and taking a moment to BREATHE!!!!! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

HOWEVER - Starbucks is in financial trouble and I heard today will be closing 600 shops nationwide. I think they overdid it, and in tough economic times, people give up their $4 lattes first. (Paula)

McJumpguez said...

I love coffee, always had. My mom made me cafe aulait or in spanish Cafe con Leche, every night before bed as my medienda. It was always warm milk, a few sprinkles of Folgers and sugar.
But seriously, I don't really need two starbucks on the same street. On 23rd, there is on at Hoyt and Pettygrove, then one at 21st and Lovejoy. Not to mention the one on 20th and burnside, oh right, and the one inside Fred Meyer at 20th place and Burnside. Way.too.many.
But, I live in the PNW and I'm very used to this. When I visited Boston for a few days, I was sadly surprised that there were no bakeries and no coffee shops. They were inundated by a few starbucks and TONS of Dunkin Donuts. We don't even have those here any more!

danielskiffington said...

Gig Harbor is a SMALL town. Sure its getting bigger, but it still only has one high school within its limits. So on the main road through town there are four Starbucks at one corner. It's crazy!!!