I had been wanting to get into this space for some time now, and finally befriended the trio of workers who seemed quite agreeable about me taking a few snaps ‘for the local paper’ and playing my flute as, uh, part of my research! I knew exactly which piece that I wanted to play in this future Starbucks cafe. There’s about a 45 second delay at the start of this recording as I take a few snaps and assemble my flute, but eventually Jack Was Every Inch A Sailor arrives! The construction crew can be heard before and after, but seemed to offer me a respectful silence while I was playing…thanks guys!
Once I get playing here, check out the roomy acoustics, which are expansive and spacious, especially before the ubiquitous barristahs and gleaming coffee-makers are installed…nothing like a raw space to play in! Originally this was the site of a thriving, family-run drycleaners; however, after sitting idle and empty for many months, locals are now counting down the days til they can walk up the block for their short brevi latte!
So why this rollicking sea shanty in this space, you might wonder? The Starbucks icon may be emblazoned just a little more deeply in your subconscious than you might have realized. “Call me Ishmael” might serve as a clue! To spell it out for you, Starbuck is indeed one of the supporting cast that helps make Moby Dick complete as a literary behemoth.
Starbuck was an important Quaker family name on Nantucket Island, and there were several actual whalemen of this period named “Starbuck,” as evidenced by the name of Starbuck Island in the South Pacific whaling grounds. The multinational coffee chain Starbucks was named after Starbuck, not for any affinity for coffee but after the name Pequod was rejected by one of the co-founders. (-Wikipedia)
For further reading, check out this one page synopsis that sheds new light on the Melville classic…In Ed Friedlander’s words, Starbuck, the pacifist Quaker “…sees the white whale only as a natural animal, without malice or supernatural power. Unlike the modern horror thriller, the reader must decide for himself whether Ahab or Starbuck is right. Melville has given us what has made Stephen King so popular — only he did it even better. ”
Speaking of things to do with the east coast, happy 60th, Newfoundland! Literally the day after recording Jack Was Every Inch A Sailor in this latest Starbucks to pop up along Dupont Street in Seaton Village, I read the good news about Newfoundland’s big anniversary. Even though the vote was a squeaker – 52% to join the Dominion of Canada back in 1949 – we love you tons, and you will always be Canada’s rock! Hey, I’ve been to Saint John’s a couple of times now, so I know of what I speak!
Starbucks continues to be very supportive of my photographic artwork, and in fact an exhibition of my work can be viewed at the Yorkdale Mall, just up the escalator in Chapters. Actually, I should stop in and check in on the show as it’s been up for a while and might be due for one serious dusting!! Thanks Starbucks, with or without an apostrophe!
Speaking of terrifying whales, Twitter fans are advised not to follow Twouble with Twitter…Tweet, or whatever his name is, the giant white whale, makes a cameo appearance towards the end. And if you need just a little more leisure reading, here is the Wikipedia link for Moby Dick.