My friend Joel at The Vagrant Cafe has just instituted a very nice redesign. It is worth checking out.

    Also, while I’m talking about the cafe, here is something I posted on the Vagrantcafe message boards recently in response to a post by Darin007 which said so, do all of our towns and cities now resemble one another? are we overrun with corporate america to the extent that our towns and cities are losing their uniqueness. is the idea of place a joke? is the internet tearing down walls to the extent that place is a joke? what do you think?

    Here is my response…

      What I find ironic is that the places people love to live in, love to visit, love to work in, are unique places.

      But then once they get popular the corporate pigs come in and send in their starbucks and gaps and diesels and before long the uniqueness is gone.

      Austin was such a place, but it is now being rapidly ruined by those corporate forces. When I moved away in January, so much had already changed and from what I hear the change is accelerating.

      But, strangely enough where I go to school now in the “ghetto/ethinc” part of Oklahoma City (NW 23rd St/Classen/Little Saigon/Paseo neighborhoods) is what Austin once was.. gritty, different, unique, blue collar artsy, and downright beautiful.

      Of course, they’ll probably try to ruin this place too, but maybe there’s still hope. Especially since the economy is tanking, maybe the corporate scourge will stay away for a while longer. (at least I can hope so)

      Also, what will make a difference is when we start to learn to be attached to a place, to know its wildflowers, its trees, its birds, when we know what color the dirt is, and what kind of rocks are here.

      We need to wake up and recapture a sense of spatial identity. The internet is wonderful, not because it homogenizes everythign but because it has the potential to bring places to life, to let me see how real people live in NYC or Wichita, Kansas, or even Pineridge, OK (www.pineridgoeklahoma.com).