The once-sparkling and cozy suburban store, where I spent many an hour reading, writing, ruminating and conversing with friends and strangers, is now bleak and unwelcoming.
No matter their age, businesses decline not merely because their standards flag, but because the formula that worked so brilliantly in the first place becomes an excuse to avoid risk.
Meanwhile, 67 year-old singer Robert Plant is on a world tour, belting out experimental post-metal songs, disco tunes, and newly interpreted rock classics, including some from Led Zeppelin's catalog rendered in Celtic style.
In his review of Plant's show, music critic Brian Ives praises the singer for dodging a Led Zeppelin reunion, "despite the fact that it would surely be worth tens of millions of dollars to him." Plant instead has taken the road less traveled.
"You can make crazy moves, change the way you’re doing things, and bust out of your comfort zone," Ives says.
"Listen to music you’ve never listened to before. Go to a restaurant that serves food you’ve never tried. Hang out with people you don’t know that well. Learn a new skill. Your story isn’t over."