Is Bloomington A Traditional Democratic College Town?

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Bloomington is a traditional Democratic college town. The city limits are filled with farming cooperatives, community bike shops, farmers markets, and non-franchised coffee shops. It’s shops like these that help define Bloomington from any other city in America. But what do these coffee shops mean in other parts of the United States? Within the past few years, cities have been classified as “hip:” fun cities for the average twenty-something. Some hipster cities are San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Burlington, Vermont; and Bloomington, Indiana. These cities have numerous similarities with one resounding smell: coffee.
I have been in Bloomington for three years. I have started to become more aware of
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Friends would come in to hang out, business meetings were held, and students did homework. It was a bar without the liquor.
In the 1990s, television sitcoms like Friends highlighted the “it” place to be as Central Perk, a coffee shop in Central Park. For one of the first times, a sitcom’s standard location was not a bar, as opposed to How I Met Your Mother and Cheers. Central Perk offered a relaxing environment for the group to socialize and, on occasion, work. They became staples to the shop, and vice versa.
Let’s stop and check-in -- we’ve established that coffee has changed over the years, television has fueled this change, and that we have some hip cities now. So what’s the point? What do these cities have to do with Central Perk-esque coffee establishments?
The answer lies in the shops. Bloomington has seven independent coffee shops that aren’t franchises. With the local Starbucks’s, the total bumps up to eleven-- eleven coffee shops in a city of a twenty-mile radius. That’s an insane amount of coffee Indiana University students and locals are guzzling. How can Bloomington sustain so many different shops? The answer to that particular question lies in each of the seven independent shops. Each shop is set up differently, and each shop has it’s own regulars.
I am a chameleon. I frequent almost every coffee shop in Bloomington, with a different
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