Starbucks. I like you. But we’ve got to talk.
Listen, ‘Bucks. (You don’t mind if I call you ‘Bucks do you? Cool.) You’re good. You’re a meeting place. You’re local (2-0-6 in the coffee house!). You’re a gathering hall, a “third place” as Bertolet would say. You’re chill. And you’re a reliable source for the New York Times, which gives us a reprieve from the anti-urbanists over on Fairview. Yes, there are some that grouse about your large size, or pushing out local chains (even some of the overlords on this blog), but I can forgive all that. You activate our urban realm, provide a vibrant street life and bring warm liquid sustenance to our cold, withered northwest cores.
[ polluters welcome. kids, seniors, the poor, transit users: abandon all hope ]
But get this. I tried to stroll up to one of your stores and order a latte and I was told that “We can’t serve you. You need to be in a car.” Say what now, ‘Bucks? That ain’t cool. I couldn’t believe my ears. Certainly this couldn’t be coming from the same place that built its business on pedestrian traffic in Pike Place?
But it was. Here in my little corner of Southeast Seattle at Graham and MLK, ‘Bucks you did me wrong. Nevermind that your little outpost is along the light rail line that magically produces pedestrians. Or that you are near some of the only TOD being built in the city. ‘Bucks, why do you hate walkers?
Know what’s worse? You made me go to the McDonald’s just across the street with a walk-up counter, and the nice people in there were happy to help me. McDonald’s! (And remember, they’re your competitor now).
[ what google doesn't tell you is that only one of these stores serves pedestrians. ]
Like I said, you do good, but this does not live up to your ideals.