Alex and Taylor turned off the main road, onto the double-wide gravel driveway that meanders to the old farmhouse. It looked like one of those last-century, or the century before, great old farmhouses that the urban sprawl westward had somehow jumped over. A several acre parcel of nature, looking as if it’d been dropped into place, rather than having outlived the once-surrounding countryside.
“Good evening. Restaurant, workshop or movie night parking?”
“Ah … restaurant, I guess,” Alex looked a second time at the smiling group of teenagers[*] that greeted each auto; directed them to one of the parking lots; asked if they had any special need; assistance getting to the door. Taylor noted that after a few words with a driver in front, a volunteer tapped the tablet, letting the restaurant know they’d arrived for their dinner reservation. The tablet placed at their table-to-be loaded descriptions of previously enjoyed dishes, wine reviews, dinner specials. Prominent on the iPad was the suggestion that they check-in with their linked social media channels and let friends know where they’re dining tonight.
“Hey, it’s Lee! I thought that might be you. We were right behind you. Hey, by the way, what’s the deal with the kid and the tablet?”
“Just checking us in at the restaurant,” Lee laughed, pointing to the old building.
“Lots to explain about this place,” Casey agreed. “Your kids like the new sitter?”
~ ~ ~
The front porch wrapped around each corner of the farmhouse. Small tables, chairs, and a funky old sofa. People laughing, talking, sipping on local beers and wines. Kids ran across the lawn under their parents watchful eyes.
Taylor flashed back to an old hippie commune; Alex pictured the porch as new friends sitting in a dorm room, the first week of school.
Alex: Is that for real? How to make it a great protest? Sponsored by the police?
Lee: Of course, who would know more! You should bring your kids; they’d love it.
Casey: And knowing this place, you can rest assured, Saturday will only be the beginning. Last session, we fielded a team at the Police Athletic League on Author Ashe Boulevard, formed a book club, and now there’s a monthly community breakfast, cops and civilians, at various restaurants across the area.
Lee: They do the street protest exercise over there on “The Green” [**] — oh, sorry, that flat area of the lawn, lots of stuff goes on there. Anyway, at one point in the exercise, protestors and cops change roles and get to see what it’s like when someone tests your limits. Funny as hell, makes ’em crazy. You know they’ll think a second time before they get up in someone’s face. Now they know how it feels; at least a little more.
Alex: Wow! (an awkward silence; as often followed when Lee got preachy.) That’s something. By the way … (pointing to the front door, eyebrows raised) … Food? I’m about to starve!
Next: The Dining Room
[*] As expressed more thoroughly elsewhere, Centresa comprises work teams with as much authority, planning, decision-making and budget control, at the guy/girl doing the job level, as is possible. In this instance, the parking lot folks et al. are in charge of our Level One Guest Accommodation work team. BTW everyone working at the Village is connected via wifi to any person, store, location should assistance/advice be needed. I can envision the “Guest Welcoming” team coming up with a new parking scheme for an event (see APL 9% parking); posting event night signs: “It’s an experiment, please be patient, we’ll be looking for on-the-spot feedback from you after the event, via tablet as you’re waiting too long to get to the highway.”)
[**] “Green,” noun, a large area of grass, for example in a town, where people can walk, sit, or play games. (macmillandictionary.com)
yhn – (your humble narrator) – The Green is an open, flat area that lends itself to any number of activities. Table & chairs, event tents, large games; open and easily changeable to meet the need. (see also http://odditymall.com/blog/18-giant-yard-games).