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A shot of Wheatgrass and a Strawberry-Banana Smoothie, please…

For anyone who has lived in California, you realize that there are three elements, that when in the proper ratio, determines you are in a city.

The first element is take out/delivery food. Not just Pizza, and certainly not just cheap shit, at a real city, you can get take out food from almost every restaurant, and you have a wide range of good delivery food.

Density of Starbucks is point two. Sorry, not just any coffee shop, but Starbucks. I know, they aren’t my favorite by a long shot (though I do like their hot chocolate) either, but you need at least three Starbucks in the downtown area to really qualify as being a city.

Finally, we come to the third and final qualification for being considered a city, juice bars/smoothie shops. Extra credit for the establishment of local chains of smoothie shops. Half credit for juice shops that are part of organic grocery stores or co-op stores. Triple credit for juice shops that offer nutritional add-ins (energy powder, vitamin powder, etc…).

With these three qualifications in mind, let’s walk through the places where we have lived…

Slippery Rock, PA: Delivery Food – pizza. Starbucks – Not even on their top 1000 destinations. Juice stores – nope. Determination: Not a city.

Morgantown, WV: Delivery Food – pizza. Starbucks – probably have one now, but not when we were living there. Juice bars – in the student union of the university. Determination: Not a city when we were living there.

Boston: Delivery Food – very varied. Takeout available from lots of places. Starbucks – yep – they even bought out a beloved local coffee chain. Juice bars – yes. Determination: Definitely a city.

San Francisco: Delivery Food – practically everywhere had takeout or delivery, plus two competing companies that did delivery from major restaurants. Starbucks – outside my office, there were Starbucks on three of the four corners outside my building. Juice Bars – you couldn’t swing a dead hippie without hitting a Jamba Juice. Determination: City.

Hartford, CT: Takeout/Delivery – Non Existant aside from pizza and sandwiches. Starbucks – One downtown. Juice stores – nope. Determination: Not a city.

Munich: Takeout/Delivery – Very limited. You could get pizza and the occasional delivery from a Chinese or Indian place. Takeaway was a little more common. Starbucks – just got their first one, not downtown but near the university. Juice – lots of fruit stands that sold juice at the Viktualienmarkt, but no real juice shops. Determination: Not really a city.

And finally, that brings us to Cologne, Germany. Takeout/Delivery: Lots of takeout and delivery. Bonus for a company that delivers from about a dozen really good restaurants. Starbucks – Three in the inner city. Juice bars – two downtown at Appelhofplatz, including the founding location of a new regional chain, Jay’s Juice which makes a damned good strawberry-banana smoothie. Determination: Definitely a real city.

There you have it. With the new Jay’s Juice that just opened on Saturday, Cologne is significantly more of a city than Munich could ever claim to be.

Next time – city ratings based on the Subway (underground train) vs. Subway (the sandwich shop) ratio…

Posted in General Ramblings.

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