Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-changes

This afternoon I had reason to walk the main drag of the city where I formerly resided. I lived about a block from it from 1995 to 2007 and worked near it until approximately the same time. I'm not up there very often any more. I was startled to see how much it's changed.

I needed a new battery for my watch, so I headed straight to the jeweler that had done the job a few times through the years. I went to open the door to the business. It didn't budge. I took a couple steps back to look at the overhang. Their name was still on it, but apparently they closed shop as the space was now occupied by the wares of another business.

I'd spotted another jeweler sign across the street a ways, so I popped in there in the hope that this place could do the job. Nope, it was strictly a jewelry repair shop. The proprietor pointed me toward a clock store a couple blocks south.

So I hoofed it to my third destination, noticing along the way how many of the businesses were different from when I lived in the area. That diner has gone through two changes. There's a new chocolaterie. Hmm, that coffee shop wasn't there, and the one up the street has changed hands since I lived here. That's to say nothing of all the other new storefronts and sellers that I passed when making my way to the my first stop.

In the three and a half years since I lived there, this stretch has almost completely transformed. Sure, some places are the same, but I'd wager that more than half, if not 75% are not what they were when this was my neighborhood.

What a bracing reminder of how much changes and how fast time passes. On one hand it doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I lived there; on the other, it seems like a lifetime ago. The new face of that street certainly emphasizes the latter.

If I think about it, the same is true of where I live now. A bank is being built across the way. New restaurants have opened in the shopping plaza, and a car wash is now nearby. These changes are probably as dramatic as those made to where I used to call home. The difference is that I've witnessed this slow but steady shift in the landscape.

I can't say that I have any great observations other than it is an eye opener to realize how much our settings change and how readily we adapt to them, even if we aren't aware of it.

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