Thursday, November 08, 2007

I Saw The Sign

I could sit at Chapters for 18 hours a day, day after day, and never be bored.
Anyone who knows me, knows that this is true.
Knows that it contains not even the slightest amount of exaggerosity.
I could do it. I could live at Chapters.
However, I should clarify something.
It is not the bookstore itself that I am really addicted to.
It is the Starbucks that is in the bookstore that has me hooked. Really, it’s the combination of two of my favorite things on Earth. I mean, whoever dreamed up this idea was a sadistic genius!
Books and coffee.
In mathematical terms BOOKS + COFFEE = ME LIVING THERE!
I’m here all the time. For instance, I’m here right now, writing this.
When weekends approach, I will often e-mail a friend of mine, a fellow urbanite, and say “Hey, Sean. See you at the Office.© ”
He knows I mean Chapters, the Rideau location, upper level. Table nearest the stairs.

I don’t know how I lived in the pre-Chapters era.
Actually, yes I do.
I do remember. I lived at The Steaming Bean, on Besserrer Street.
The “Bean” as it was lovingly known by all of its eclectic patrons, no longer exists. It was a fabulously hip place! Really really hip. Funky! With those ancient retro-fifties style loud-colored couches in the back room, and old-style lamps. The owner busted up a huge-normous mirror and then pasted the pieces on the wall, and as you walked around in The Bean, you felt all fragmented because all your unreflected parts were missing.
It was hip like that.
And it was there one afternoon, sitting with my friend Julie at the barstool counter facing the street, that I saw my first Chapters sign!
It drove right past us, on a flatbed. Stopped me cold.
This huge red monstrosity of a sign, strapped down…. I gazed upon it, salivating like a Pavlovian dog.
That big red book captivated every fibre of my wildest imaginings...
“What the hell is that? Do you see that?” I asked Julie.
I was hyperventilating. She was much more calm about it all.
“It looks like the sign for a bookstore,” she said.
I was a wreck for the rest of the day, dreaming of that sign’s destination.
Wondering what "Chapters" was?
Turns out it came to rest just a few blocks away, where it was being hauled to the new site at the corner of Sussex and Rideau.
Where it, [and myself], remain to this day.

For a rather Biblical account of the beginnings of this store click HERE.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I'm meeting Patricia at our local Chapters (Starbucks) for coffee next week. Too bad you can't join us.
Or is it only the one in Ottawa that has become your home away from home?