Bellingham, WA, about 90 miles north of Seattle frequently appears on lists of the Best Places to Live. It's not a big town, and it is home to the reasonable large Western Washington University. It's colder in the winter and warmer in the summer than Seattle, and has a wealth of outdoor activities readily available.
My favorite stop in town is the combination of Village Books and the Colophon Cafe. When I walked into Village Books today, I was disappointed. Half of it was missing. Actually, most of it was missing. The upstairs part of the cafe was still there, but the rest of it had turned into a stuff store. There were kitchen supplies, bags, soaps, and other girlie things. My book store was gone.
But I continued downstairs. At least that part had to still be there. At the bottom of the stairs, I looked to the left, expecting to see the gardening and cooking section. Instead, I saw jaw breakers and Bit o Honey by the pound. They turned it into a candy store. And it appeared to be independent as well. I seethed over the destruction of my book store, but was hungry so I asked for a table in the cafe anyway. The tall waitress handed me the pager and I wandered around for a bit.
It was then I discovered they hadn't eliminated my book store. The simply moved it 30 feet to the right. They went through another wall and expanded it. The new sections were, well newer with more space. Upstairs, my feet echoed on the new snap-together hardwood floor as I roamed the aisles. I felt a little silly for worrying.
Back downstairs in the Colophon Cafe, lunch was wonderful as always. I had a Ham and Havarti sandwich that was 90% sprouts and a cup of African Peanut Soup. The short waitress was our server, and was just as pleasant (despite slooow service) as I've come to expect at the Colophon.
So my book store is still there -- better than ever. If this was the first time I'd been there, I would be raving about it. But even though it has more space, sells more stuff, and I no longer knock stuff off the shelves wandering around, I'm still slightly disappointed. I've been coming here for 9 years, and I know it's unrealistic to expect no change, but still. I still kind of miss the old place. It may not have been better, but it's what I knew.
But, like all else, I'll get used to it; the nostalgia will wear off, and I'll go about obnoxiously raving about Village Books like I do with most things I like.
Posted by Cromely at 1:28 AM