I have made no secret my lack of regard for the city God has placed my family in. I have complained about the skyrocketing expenses for homes which prices out poor and moderate income families.
I have found the apparent lack of a thriving arts scene, the proliferation of cover bands and hard rock at the expense of intelligent music (and national acts who travel below the radar) distressing. I have publicly ridiculed the lack of depth at most local churches and found it difficult to find Christian community that is interested in questions beyond coffee, candles, music forms and coolness.
However, in the midst of my 2 year long despair, hope has arisen in the form of a Boulder based natural food grocer. Although I believe in shopping at local businesses, the small local organic stores were too small, had little variety and high costs. We shopped at them, but waited for something to happen. For 12 months we have waited and now Tampa has joined the 21st Century with a big natural store (ahh, Boston with all 3 big natural chains and a local co-op).
We attended a special preview of the store last evening and there were hundreds of excited people (many were there for some celebrity chef that women find hot). If these people equal shoppers, all is well. Supposedly 150 people called daily wanting to know the opening. Heck, we did not even do that (the website clearly had all info in plain site). So, if Tampa has the population for such a store to thrive, we have hope for our future in this city. Who knows maybe a store can be a catalyst for such change.