Mixing village life with corporate life
For almost 150 years, the Grove has been a small place where everybody knew your name. And where people chose to come and live or work. Now it seems like a lot of people come in at 9 and leave at 5 (I know ad agencies usually work many more hours than that). That is giving us two Coconut Groves, there is the daytime office group and then at night, another group, the bar and dinner crowd come in, which has always been the way it was. To their credit the daytime office workers are out in force at lunchtime spending time and money in the village, which was quiet on weekdays before they arrived. I'm sure the restaurant owners love it.
I sometimes wonder if the newbies like it, they don't say much to the locals. They come out in droves at lunchtime, in small groups of three to seven, and they keep to their own cliques. I guess they are still feeling their way around. But I see it as this, they were told one day to pack their stuff and move to their new office in Coconut Grove. They had no say in the matter. So do they like the small village feel or would they prefer downtown or Brickell or South Beach where they came from?
A couple of times recently, a Ben & Jerry's truck stopped in the Grove. In the past, food trucks would come to the Mayfair and also to Food Truck Friday at the Coconut Grove Bank. The best part of this wasn't the food, it was the friendly atmosphere where everyone got to visit with each other for that short time. It was fun. I used to meet so many great people from the local offices who I would then get involved in various Grove activities from the Bed Race to the Chamber of Commerce. Here's hoping these new faces will eventually be part of our village life.
Last week a bunch of the office workers had a birthday party for one of their co-workers at the Bookstore, they hung balloons and streamers and had cakes and cupcakes and it was great seeing them take advantage of the community space there. Under normal circumstances they would have said, "hi," and mentioned whose birthday it was and maybe they would have asked if I wanted a cupcake, but they don't seem to be at that comfortable stage yet.
But they are getting there. SapientNitro did make a splash at the Bed Race this year, beating our Grove-50 cops in the corporate category. I'm sure they will be back this fall to challenge the police again.
One interesting thing happened a couple of weeks ago, though, it was late on a Friday afternoon, I was with two friends standing and talking on Grand Avenue, one friend had his dog, you know it was a typical Grove scene. A couple of the Sapient people came out and told us to be quiet (in a polite way), because they had a meeting going on. Perhaps we were too loud, but we were out on a public street, near the bus stop, doing what we always do - we were being village-y. On a Friday afternoon. It was just an interesting experience. I didn't know how to take it. I wasn't insulted or anything, I just didn't know how to react.
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