2 Cents: The coffee dive that Hoop and I frequent is under new management. When it was first bought out they assured us, "Nothing is going to change." Yeah well, Hershey said the same damn thing. It's not just spilled milk... Every week we come in for coffee, something is drastically different. "Backstreets" used to be dark and dank, full of hand-me-down furniture, stale smoke, and bad art. The walls are yellow and mauve now. The floors have been covered over with wood paneling and decorative rugs. You can sit down without feeling like the couch might suck you in for keeps. It's awful.
When we arrived at "Backstreets" last night, Hoop made a beeline for a new video game that had been installed. I set out to try and rediscover the place. I thought, it's like an old lover you haven't seen in awhile. Of course they've changed, but you've been intimate. There are bound to be characteristics that have remained the same, right? My biggest comfort is that the ceiling hasn't changed. It's always been my favorite feature. It's just a series of cheap styrofoam tiles, like the kind you see in schools, but these have been painted and decorated into works of art by customers.
"Backstreets" used to sell the tile spaces off for $20. You could put anything you wanted on it, as long as you didn't take it out of the building. There are drawings, paintings, poems, and pictures. Some have pieces that hang off of them. One is decorated with Barbie parts and little plastic guns. One has a large Paper Mache face coming out of the center. My favorite is nothing more than circles of paint that reminds me of the fuzziness you get before leaving a dream. You could sit and stare at those tiles for hours without seeing all there is to see in them.
It's not long before the tiles are gone. I can feel it. The new owners think they're revamping the coffee house, but what they're really doing is gutting out its history. I can't say they don't have good intentions. In the jumble of new things to see last night, I did find a replica of the Leg Lamp in Christmas Story and a large collage painting with a hidden penis in the middle. Hoop was not amused when I pulled him over and tried to engage him in a game of "Where's Wanker?"
The point of this little rant is that we're losing our culture. My town used to be nothing more than a tourist stop, filled with family restaurants and eclectic shops. The Mom-N-Pop diners are closing as more and more people buy into the convenience of "Chili's" and "Longhorn." The eclectic shops are selling their buildings, unable to compete with the "Wal-Marts" and "Targets" of the world. We're becoming cookie cutter. Soon they're going to manufacture towns out of molds like Playdough... It's OK to accept change. But never forget at what cost.
Things That Make You Go, "WTF?"
1. "Whenever I get a persistent hard on while at work, I just tuck it into my waistband."
2. "Before my parents adopted me, they thought about getting a monkey."
3. "I'm not square! I have friends on the internet."
4. "I bought the boat, I just forgot to set sail."
5. "I feel like my head just exploded Strawberry jelly. When what I was really expecting was Blueberry."
A Penny For Your Thoughts: Check out the website for Peels and find out what location near you is carrying it.
Daily Hoop Conversation:
(While out talking with the neighbor)
Neighbor: Wow. Look at the ring around the moon!
Hoop: We should get the camera.
Tink: The batteries are dead.
Hoop: We don't have batteries in the house?
Hoop: You have batteries we could borrow.
Tink: Oh my God.
Neighbor: So, anyway.
Have a fantastic weekend all!