Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I probably am not the first to post a picture of a Starbucks on a city blog, but this one, in northwest Bend, Oregon has special meaning to me. Practically every morning I come here, read the paper and chat with a number of good friends before starting on my day's adventure. Like so many other people, I tank up here in the winter before going up to the mountain for skiing. or in summer, it is a usual starting point for a bike ride. In this post I don't feel like discussing the merit of coffee drinking and the dangers of caffeine nor is this the time to talk of the domination of corporate America over the little guy, or the exploitation of workers in Brazil nor of the destruction of rainforests for coffee plantations. These are all worthy themes. Today I appreciate the freedom of expression that I feel there. I am excited by the numerous activities of Starbuck's numerous patrons, some sitting alone reading, some on laptops working, others visiting with friends, and a few participating in loosely organized discussion groups. Along with an assortment of kayakers, cyclists, hikers and shoppers, this gathering place, in it is own way, becomes a place where people affirm the goodness of life and figuratively and literally "smell the coffee".