I’ve lived in the same town for my entire life. Twenty-three years. And while the more…southernly inclined would contest just how much a part of this area I really am, I grew up here (South Carolina by the way) and am, like it or not, a southerner.
I like it just fine, and the town I live in isn’t bad–Lord knows there are some worse ones nearby–but my mom grew up in St. Louis and then moved down here, so I can seem somewhat out of place. I don’t say, “y’all,” I’ve never been hunting, grits, to me, are kind of gross, and the love affair that some have with the local “meat and threes” is little more than an acquaintanceship to me. I’m a Yankee, in essence, but in truth I’m not–I’m something in between.
Regardless though, you came here to hear about a coffee shop we have here in town. And if you didn’t, well, there’s a puppy post somewhere–just follow the resounding, “awwwwwww’s.”
There is a coffee shop in downtown called eCity Java that has been around since I was seven. And as much as I can scream out that “I’m from here, I promise!” I never, ever went. Which isn’t my fault really–my mom doesn’t drink coffee. And neither do any of my siblings. So when I got older and would meet up with a friend who wanted to sit in the shop, I’d say, “What?” or “Huh? What is that place? I don’t know,” and they’d shake their head at me.
I’m not the only one though.
For a town that is decently historic, there are a number of places that people have never been, even if they’ve lived here like me. It’s in large part due to the way the city was when I was younger and the way it developed later on. Downtown shops were from another time altogether, fulfilling a need that was present in the sixties, and unless they held a place in your heart or your family’s, they were often overlooked. The main street grew in small leaps and bounds, branching off toward other towns and new neighborhoods, but it was, fairly frequently, the only site for new developments, leaving the surrounding areas barren.
It’s only been recently that the city’s come into it’s own. There’s something to see and do in every direction and the downtown district has been gradually modernized, while maintaining it’s unique, historic feel. And I feel like for me, that is a pretty big reason for why I never came to eCity much until I got older. My mom, we established, wasn’t from here, so the quaint downtown mom-and-pops meant little to her, and with little desire for coffee and the like–there wasn’t much drawing her down.
Fast forward however many years and I work there now. It was a girl that drew me in–and somehow I went from being the guy drinking no coffee to the guy I am now, saying words with other meanings, like “bold” and “body,” while laughing to myself when people come in who have never been there before. Some may contest my place in a coffee shop when I’ve only been drinking a year, but I’m here now, I like it, and I’ll settle in nicely–somewhere in between.