I'd like to be more useful, to give back to the businesses and people and resources that make my life happy. When a new Starbucks opened on my corner this Friday, I realized how badly I wanted to plug its competitor to all the customers. Why not do it here?
When Gladstone Coffee opened at SE 38th and Gladstone (Portland, Oregon, 97202) only a few blocks from my house, it was the only coffee shop within 1.2 miles of my house. I had counted. I had walked those 1.2 miles many a time, in several directions, to reach other, far less desirable caffeinated destinations. At some, I found it hard to find stroller parking. At others, the baristas seemed downright angry that I'd brought Everett.
I couldn't believe my luck, to have a coffee shop, offering my fave bean, Stumptown Coffee, pouring perfect lattes and Numi teas, and welcoming my children with a box full of toys, only two blocks away from my house. As time went on, the place became an auxiliary office. I just returned from a few hours at Gladstone Coffee. I ate a garlicky veggie-and-cheese panini sandwich with herbs-and-greens salad. I sat in a comfy chair and used the wifi and set my glass of water on the toy box. It was calm. It was comforting. It's my own special third place.
If you live anywhere near 39th and Holgate, you should really spend your bucks at Gladstone instead of Starbucks. I'll never begrudge Starbucks their heavily-capitalized entre into my neighborhood, driving up my property value and bringing along other desirable businesses. But I will begrudge my neighbors if they fail to take advantage of the area's true jewel, Gladstone Coffee. And the best part: their lattes? Way better.
You can see all my photos of Gladstone Coffee, here in a regularly-updated slideshow.