Photo of Grant Park Coffee House

On places that feel like home going away.

My coffee shop is gone.

The place where they know me and know my order. I walk in and whoever is at the register will just say “Jeremy’s here” and ask if i want hot or iced today.

The owner of the building raised the rent, and did not accept an offer from the woman who owns the shop to buy him out.

This has been happening a lot here.

I have several friends whose rents have randomly almost doubled. I expect the intent is to have all the tenants leave so the landlords can sell the buildings at inflated prices before the market crashes.

We are sending kids back to school knowing they will probably get COVID because its not yet okay to vaccinate them but the machine needs to keep on turning.

The Amazon is on fire, while Amazon pays no taxes and works its contract workers literally to death.

Millennials and younger generally have no hope that anything good will happen ever again, while older generations blame them for their own hopelessness.

And a place I could walk to with my dog and my laptop and have people be happy to see me (and vice versa) is closing this week.

I wrote a post in 2010 about Third Places and why social media is no substitute for in-the-flesh connection.

In it, i wrote:

I’m honestly worried that we (us younger folks especially) may be duped by the rhetoric around technology into thinking IMs, Texts and Twittering are meaningful as a ‘real connection’, and that we will settle for a life with wider swaths of shallower connections and not know what we’re missing.

I guess we are making our choices.

Anyway, I’m sitting here at my regular table writing this post and holding back tears. Because it’s a place that feels like home. And next week it’ll be gone.