The moment so many Starbucks fans in Strasbourg have been waiting for! Better late than never as they say. I have a few thoughts to pour down on the subject though, as ever since Starbucks announced its opening a month ago, or actually every time someone has brought up its coming to Strasbourg, there have always been those who fear the competition and those so-called anti-conformists (when they actually are even more mainstream than the rest of the consumer society), expressing the most despicable comments about the 45-year-old U.S. coffee symbol.
Now, for those who are not aware of this, Strasbourg is the second European Capital, apart from Brussels, as it hosts the European Parliament (partially, although there is a separate gorgeous building for it), the Council of Europe, the European Ombudsman and the European Court of Human Rights. This makes it four iconic European institutions. Whenever we think of this, naturally what comes to mind is a very modern European city such as Brussels or the Hague (since it hosts several international institutions and is comparable). But NO, finding good coffee places in Strasbourg has been practically impossible until a year ago when a few local businessmen started opening a few more original cafés with better-tasting coffee. The truth is, you can hardly ever find coffee to-go early in the morning when you most need it on the way to work, or coffee houses open late in the evening when you are looking for a chilling atmosphere and you don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol. The few good cafés are ridiculously small, you can never find a seat, and it basically ruins the whole coffee experience for you. What this small town needs to understand is that you cannot call yourself the European Metropol/Capital if you don’t take up the responsibility for being one and acting like it. Shops and cafés closing at 7pm when actually most people get out of work at this time?! With the opening of Starbucks, which happened in Strasbourg the latest in comparison with other European cities and capitals, it remains the ONLY café which opens at 7am and closes at 9pm.
What does this tell us about the mentality of Strasbourg? A town which still thinks that it can survive in a multicultural, globalised world without adjusting to its standards? Wake up, we don’t live in the Middle Ages anymore. You can still have your small-medieval-town charm and be modern at the same time. The Hague and Amsterdam are living examples of it. Shutting yourself from the world is not the solution. And to all those Starbucks haters who go by the MacBook user/customer cliché at Starbucks, I humbly tell you after 8 years of sipping bad coffee in ridiculously small-spaced cafés, I am glad I can finally taste real bean coffee and start to feel that I actually live in a 21st century city and not some small town where time and space have stopped.
Dark Kisses ~
P.S. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts on the matter, would love to know what you think!
Pictures & Editing by Theodora NightFall.