Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Starbucks Standard

I went to a birthday party in Queens on Monday. You could tell the neighborhood was newly hip. Here in New York, it seems like we mere humans are never rich enough to afford living in the city, so we comute in from the various boroughs. And as more and more of us move out into the boroughs, the boroughs become more and more hip. As I was walking through this neighborhood with my friend Diana, the comment was shared that you can judge the safety of a neighborhood by the presence of a Starbucks. Right then, as we turned the corner, we saw one. Starbucks, proclaiming that this neighborhood must indeed be safe.

I've been thinking about my future (no conclusions yet, though) and I realize that should I stay here in New York past June I will need to seek residence somewhere outside of Manhattan. Of course, a miracle might happen and I might find myself still living on the island, but truth be told, it might be nice to live in a borough. I was thinking about the Starbucks safety test. Is it true? Can you judge the safety of a neighborhood by the presence of a Starbucks Coffeehouse?

Well, I have some thoughts on the issue: Starbucks is expensive and it takes a fairly good and steady income to afford a coffee drink at $4.00. And the company is smart. They aren't going to open a store in a neighborhood where people can't afford to buy the drinks. So, it is fairly safe to say that any neighborhood that Starbucks invests in is probably on the rise.

So here is where I ask: is it good for a Christian, for someone who is seeking the shalom or peace of the city and the people in it, to purposefully live in the upper crust? Should we make sure we move into safe neighborhoods? or do we make sure that the neighborhoods we live in are becoming safe places through our presence and fight for justice? I have a general idea of those who read the blog (I have a site meter) so I know that some of you live in safer neighborhoods and some in not so safe neighborhoods. What do you think? What does society say on the issue and what does the Bible say on the issue?

1 comment:

Carolyne said...

Well you know what Tim Keller says: stick to the city because that's where the most people are. The boroughs are suburbia in a way. Starbucks or no Starbucks. If you find a borough with a Peet's Coffeehouse, then that's your sign from heaven!