Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Starbucks

Starbucks, depending on who you are, is either the bane or the blessing of the coffee world. Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, one thing is for sure: Starbucks exudes a certain "type," a certain "culture" to it.

That culture can vary from place to place, depending on if you're in the rainy Pacific Northwest, the sunny Pacific Southwest, or the hot and humid Southeast. But, one thing remains constant all over the map... Starbucks is the self-appointed haven of the sophisticate, the artsy, and the corporate. People who all want their coffee or iced mochas or whatever other damned French-word-described coffee amalgamation they happen to like.

Starbucks in Seattle? Makes perfect sense. It should, it started there. But beyond that, Seattle is a Mecca of the hippy-fied, grunge-of-old, rainy day "artsy" as well as an advertising and marketing haven. Los Angeles shares this sophisticated, artistic, corporate image. San Diego does too, to an extent. Little Wilmington, North Carolina with its waning film industry and gorgeous beaches? Check. Dallas? Yep. Las Vegas? Close enough. Raleigh? You bet. Atlanta? Yeah, I'll give it that much credit. Hell, even Fayetteville, North Carolina with its odd demographic and military-based commerce qualifies. As does Reno, Nevada. Is everyone noticing a pattern? Okay, good.

I'm now going to tell you about a little desert shit-town in the middle of Nevada called Dayton. Dayton isn't in the middle of nowhere (Reno and Lake Tahoe are not far), but it sure seems like it. There's no McDonald's there, no Burger King, and only one grocery store. The people there have no identity, save the multitudes of Californian expatriates who bring their old ones with them. Is it a hick town? Sort of, not really. Is it a grunge town? Only for the high school kids who where ratty clothes and have no idea how to cut their hair. So... what kind of town is it?

Well, it's a town that has a Starbucks.

And if there were ever a place that Starbucks did not belong, Dayton, Nevada, is it.

There is no sophisticate there. None. Dayton, Nevada, is home to the ugliest building in the United States. It's a small office building filled with medical practices, and can hardly be described, it's so ugly. There is no "artsy" there, although the wannabe Quentin Tarantino working at the brand new Hollywood Video might disagree with me. There is, however, a "corporate" there, but the indigenous locals are so mystified by the concept, it's the relocated Californians that allow the corporate to survive.

Simply put, nobody in Dayton looks right when standing in a Starbucks. Nobody. It's almost frightening. Even worse, few of them can even pronounce half of Starbucks' menu... including a couple of the Starbucks employees. What? Was there no training video?

Anyway, I started writing this with a point in mind, but it's becoming clear that I don't really have one.

Still, I must plead with Starbucks: save your image and close your Dayton store.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

STARBUCKS IS EVIL. It'll do in desperate situations, though. Didja know that Fayetteville now has 3(!) of them? Nothing beats the good ol Coffee Scene at Westwood, you ever go there when you were here? It ROCKS!


Posted by **JEAN** on September 6, 2006 - Wednesday - 8:50 PM

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