GMIM: Back from Vacation

Welcome to another installment of Good Mourning, it’s Monday! This weekly blog looks to cover various topics in the news, along with personal stories or encounters from the past week at home and work to help you through your first day back at work (unless you don’t work). Hopefully my seven followers like this and share this to make it eight. Enjoy…

Clocking In 

Weather: Ok, but not the beach
Traffic:  Stupid, I’m not at the beach
Breakfast: A sip of coffee, banana with almond butter
Zach arrival time: Decent timing, I think

Monday Mourning Metaphor

In the office with a lingering sunburn like….

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Starbucks planned for Boston’s North End axed

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[Source] – Plans for a Starbucks as part of a major retail development at the gateway to Boston’s North End, right across from the Rose Kennedy Greenway, appear to be dead.

In a July 6 statement, Mayor Marty Walsh asked developer Charter Realty & Development to withdraw its application to open the Starbucks as part of its retail project at 198 Hanover Street. Since the developer lacks the necessary city permits for the project, Walsh’s opposition is probably enough to tank it.

“After hearing the concerns from residents about sustaining the culture and historic nature of the North End, I encouraged the applicant to withdraw the proposal to locate a Starbucks at the entrance to the North End,” Walsh said in the statement.

Some residents’ pushback had been particularly scalding. They said that such a presence at such a prominent spot in the North End would spoil the feel of the neighborhood. It would also encroach, they said, on the caffeinated turf of existing North End coffee shops.

But the Starbucks would have joined a national coffee chain that’s already on the block: Peet’s at 50 Salem Street. And the Starbucks would have replaced a decidedly pedestrian Citizens Bank branch.

Charter’s Hanover Street plans stretch back to 2016, and the final composition is unclear. Stay tuned.

You might have read that excerpt above and thought to yourself “here goes Zach again being a Starbucks hater for the sake of his blog.” Well, two things: 1) Shut up, my hate is real. 2) You’ll probably be surprised to hear that I am actually team Starbucks on this one.

Everyone’s brain right now:

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Although I love the North End and all the shops and restaurants, these people are out of their minds to think they’re keeping the North End “authentic.” There’s two main issues, and the first is Peet’s Coffee.

Peet’s Coffee? Did they refuse service to me too? No, they just have terrible coffee. I’m man enough to admit that Starbucks brews a good cup of joe, so my refusal to purchase their coffee is based strictly on morals and the American way. But Peet’s? God awful. They were our coffee provider in college and folks, I did not drink much coffee between the ages of 18 and 22. So when I saw this story, I was confused because Peet’s a both a chain and located a block from Hanover Street. Hard to keep the North End authentic when you have literally one of the worst coffee chains welcoming folks to the area.

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The main focus of this story is Starbucks being located specifically on Hanover Street, which many consider the main road of the North End. Ok, then explain this:

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You know what that is? A goddamn 7ELEVEn. (Fun fact: every letter in the logo is capitalized except the “n.”) So tell me, how does blocking Starbucks, but allowing a 7-Eleven, keep the North End “authentic?” Because last time I checked, Michael Corleone never picked up a Slurpee while hiding in Italy.

At the end of the day, the North End is filled with a bunch of frauds. Seriously, do they believe a Starbucks is really going to take business away from Mike’s Pastry or any other cafe & bakery? Absolutely not. If you’re in the North End, you’re there for a reason: to experience local food and drink, not a coffee chain.

Had the fine people of Boston’s North End stood by me in my fight against Starbucks, it would have been the city’s finest moment. Instead, they come out looking like a bunch of scared dummies. Shame on them.

New Orleans family has son’s body playing 2K at his wake

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[Source] – NEW ORLEANS – Renard Matthews was killed in New Orleans two weeks ago.  He was only 18 years old. While the tragedy of losing him so young weighs heavy on his family, they chose to have his body prepared for Sunday afternoon’s wake in a way that they want to remember him, according to WGNO.

At the Charbonnet Labat Glapion Funeral Home in Treme, Matthews was sitting in a chair, video game controller in hand, surrounded by his favorite snacks, and his beloved Boston Celtics on the television screen.

RIP to Renard, first and foremost. Gotta pay your respects to an 18-year-old who was killed.

With that said, what a wild move by this family. I’ve heard of folks having radios put in their caskets, old guys being displayed in an extended recliner, but this dude is propped up with the sticks in hand ready to jump into My Career: Pearly Gates Edition. He’s playing on stage like he’s the star of the new 2K League this summer.

But did his family actually put him in an active game? Look at this screenshot:

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Dude is down 7-0 and Kyrie Irving is the active on his controller. Couldn’t imagine trying to pay your respects while watching Boogie drop a 50-burger en route to a 125-0 Golden State victory. Not the way I’d want to go out.

I will say, Renard had an incredible taste in gaming snacks. Doritos are a classic, Barq’s root beer is the G.O.A.T. root beer, knock-off cookie crisp shows he likes flavor while being on a budget, and then the mother of all processed desserts: zebra cakes.

Rest easy, Renard. As the saying goes, ball is (after)life.

P.S.: Wild move to be a Kyrie and/or Celtics fan when you have Anthony Davis playing in your city.

Double PS: XBOX? Seriously man?

Song of the Week

Just got back from vacation this week. It’s been a difficult transition going from drinking on the beach all week to avoiding people’s dandruff in the train. Oh well, I’ll eventually get used to it.

Have any stories to share? Suggestions? Feedback? Send them to ZacharyAdamGray@gmail.com or tweet me @ZacharyAdamGray