There is an eerie sense of familiarity whenever I step into any global chain that homogenizes its stores. There seems to be these artificial spaces that are so cookie cutter similar that for a moment, I forget I’m in a whole other geographic area, because the Tim Hortons in New York looks exactly the same as the one on the corner of my neighborhood, or the one across town, or the one in a neighboring province. I get that there’s a certain comfort in familiarity — of going to a McDonalds anywhere in the world and eating the same artificially delicious deep fried chemical concoction they call ‘french fries’. But I’m just so tired of the sameness. Of being in a whole other place but also feeling like I’ve never really left. I’m itching for some authenticity… of someone putting love and care into something that makes it completely their own. I understand that when something is great, you want to scale up and share the experience (i.e. Starbucks’ ‘third spaces’), or the product (i.e. Coach bags), but what I don’t understand is the frenzy that involves lining up for hours to buy an expensive brand name good that every other person already owns… Or worse – to buy a counterfeit item, negating the argument of buying for ‘quality’. Maybe to feed the ego, one that wants to show the world your wealth and status in society? That’s a whole other topic that I won’t let myself ramble into… for another day! I just think there is something special about a unique, home-made product or meal or even space where you know the intention of the creator was to give, create, and share – rather than mass produce and make loads of money.
But that’s just me.