findlay, oh

3 June 2006, 4:00 pm

King George coffeeshop/bookstore

On our trip westish, we spent a night in Findlay (”Flag City USA”), Ohio, pop. about 39K (2000 Census), and, if Wikipedia is to be believed, the first location in which touch-tone phone service was available.

In our (very limited) experience, the town seemed schismed by a canal. South of the canal we saw stately colonial houses, freshly painted, with well-manicured lawns. North there was a profusion of pawnshops, liquor stores, tattoo parlors, and an adult video joint — and several musical instrument vendors, demonstrating one reason why my loyalty in these matters is not solely to the good and upstanding side of the world.

The King George bookstore/cafe was in the border zone (more-or-less opposite the University of Findlay). The coffee was terrific and the muffins were yummy. The bookstore portion itself displayed an intriguing schism in my very quick glance at is contents. The shelf behind which the man had ducked (I tried not to photograph him, as he seemed to want not to be photographed, but he didn’t reckon on the two-second delay with which I was shooting) proclaimed it was full of new rare and antiquarian new arrivals; one of the nearer shelves seemed full of slushy recent bestsellers and Cliffs Notes.

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