Friday, December 16, 2005

A Day of Firsts

This was the big day--the day that two of my favorite establishments opened up within a few minutes of my house...and I was there at the beginning for both of them.

I dragged my carcass out of bed at 7:45 this morning, on my first "official" day of the holiday, to catch the grand opening of Starbucks of Firewheel. Zack, who had the same idea independently of me, texted me on my way over to see if in fact I was going to show up. Even though I got there at around 8:28, they had evidently "cheated" and opened early, as there were about four people who had beaten us to the punch.

The Starbucks isn't particularly spacious, but it's probably designed for a lot of in-and-out traffic--those who would grab a quick cup and take it with them as they resumed their shopping. The staff told us that the other one, in Firewheel Market out front, will open in exactly three weeks and will be open much later (the one that debuted today will mirror the hours of the mall, for the most part).

A little over an hour later, we reconvened in the parking lot of the new Chipotle. There was a giant inflatable burrito moored to a truck in the side parking lot (it would later be moved out front to the patio); Zack got a picture of it, which I'll post when he sends it to me. Zack, Betsy, Steven I. and I were numbers 5-6-7-8 in line, and Dingus, Colin and Coop would join us shortly after the doors opened.

We were treated very well; since I've been to pretty much every area Chipotle on multiple occasions, all the bigwig managers (almost all of whom trained at 15th St.) recognized me right away. We got free gift cards for being among the first fifty customers, and T-shirts were also handed out liberally. The burrito tasted especially good today, maybe because everything was fresh and new, and maybe also because it was so close to home.

Oh, and the League of Lunatics had a partial event yesterday, as Dingus renewed his 2BC and Colin joined him for the first time. I opted out of this one (since I've been missing out on the gym for most of the semester), but nobody can take away the fact that I did it once; LoL membership is for life--once a 2BCer, always a 2BCer. (We're also thinking of emailing Joe, the corporate promotions guy for Chipotle, and, along with thanking him for coming to our neighborhood, telling him about the 2BC, in case he wants to start a Wall of Fame or something.)

I've written about Firewheel a lot these past few months, and with the opening of the three remaining most-awaited-places this week, it will become a much sparser topic. Still, it's transformed my part of town in an immensely positive way--not because every city needs a healthy dose of rampant consumerism, but because having amenities like this close by really does raise the quality of life (by keeping car trips shorter, taking some of the tax burden off the local homeowners--Garland had been significantly under-retailed for decades--and raising the value of everyone's home). We've lived in the shadows of our neighboring suburbs for quite some time, and now we're starting to come into our own out here. It's a good thing.

Unfortunate URL's, part 3: I've written before about how some multi-word company names can be misconstrued when the words are combined to make a single-word URL. Today, Dave Barry's Blog points to a site called, whose URL,, could easily be read quite differently.

Blowing out so many candles that the house would catch fire: Happy Beethoven's Birthday! (He was actually christened on the 17th, but most reliable sources list his actual day of birth as today.) I think I first found out about it by reading Peanuts comics, since Schroeder celebrated it every year. One year when I was in high school, I hosted a Beethoven's Birthday party; we didn't actually put 200-whatever candles on the cake, so we just arranged a small number of them to spell out that number.

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