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How does Scottsbluff measure up?

February 17, 2010

In the cities in which I’ve previously lived, there seemed to be a number of trendy public amenities on the must-have list if the city was trying to attract or retain young people.

How does Scottsbluff measure up?

Public amenity number one: pool with a water park that includes water slides

Ding! Scottsbluff has one.

Public amenity number two: skate park

Ding ding! Scottsbluff has one, catty-corner from the WalMart (though it has a bit of a graffiti problem — why not get some teens to paint murals instead of providing a nice canvas for graffiti?)

Public amenity number three: disc golf course

Ding ding ding! Scottsbluff has one, down by the river.

Public amenity number four: dog park

Ding ding ding ding! Scottsbluff has one, near the aforementioned disc golf course by the river.

Public amenity number five: library with a coffee shop

Scottsbluff is currently renovating its 1960s-era library (the groundbreaking ceremony is next week). I was all excited when I saw this preliminary plan. See? It says that it includes a “cafe”! But when I asked a very helpful librarian what that meant, she replied that there would be a sink and vending machines. Oh. [Sound of air being let out of balloon.]

Ennnngh! Wrong-answer buzzer sound for Scottsbluff on Public Amenity Number Five.

When I first heard about a library installing a coffee shop (back in my hometown soulless suburb), I thought “Are you kidding me?? How yuppie can you get? Aaack! Starbucks is taking over the world!”. But I’ve come to see the utility of a library with coffee service.

When I have “thinkwork” to get done (studying, reading, writing), I’ve learned that I need to get away from my home and its distractions (housework, the cat, the contents of the refrigerator). I also like to have a little caffeine to sip on while I work.

True, a coffee shop can serve this purpose, but there are several problems with a coffee shop. Sometimes the staff likes to play loud, weird music. Black Sabbath on a Sunday morning is . . . ahem . . . not my cup of tea. Sometimes the other patrons are too loud, such as when administering a lung function test and hollering “pushpushpushblowblowblow!” In a coffee shop. In public. But the primary problem is that the coffee shop expects you to buy something, nay, needs you to buy something, so they can stay in business. This can lead to caffeine overload.

A library cafe? Pshhh. You can buy one cup of coffee and sit there all darned day if you choose. They don’t care.

For those of us who are students or freelancers or writers (or bloggers!), a quiet, distraction-free place to work, with wireless internet access and a no-strings-attached supply of caffeine, is ideal.

Scottsbluff doesn’t seem to have that, so, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pour myself another cup of coffee, pet the cat, vacuum, see what goodies are in the fridge, and mayyybe I’ll get back to my blog.

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 10:00 am

    I think Cappuccino & Co has WiFi–and it can get noisy there!

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