There is a new force on the block and it’s about to shake up the status quo on Thayer street. The disgruntled local winds whipped around for months, objecting to the obstructed view, but were ultimately no match for the gustatory revolution that took root and is now flourishing along the main artery of town. It smells so alluring, evoking strong tastes of youth, movies, and late nights. Its figure is modern and glossy, a sports car sheen. Classy, mostly. Certainly not trashy… at least until the end. Then, the green and white signature is discarded in what is temporarily a spotless, round bin.
The signage is uncharacteristically modest, almost hushed among the cream colored bricks that decorate the exterior of the building. Thin, white lettering rolls across the overhang giving a name to the newest buzz. A green hamburger schematic precedes the label, a visual match to the olfactory assault that hits like an unwelcome sprinkler as vegans hurriedly pass. A new favorite, an anti-wellness blitz?
Others are more welcoming as they linger and gaze inside. Animated chatter bounces off the glass door, rebounding against white letters which read “Chick’n bites.” Lunch is over and it is too early for dinner. Nevertheless, a group of six students head inside to investigate the new Big Thing and do some undefined eating.
Remnants of construction litter the perimeter outside the entrance. Tall, orange cones remind of recent change, a new development. Daytime shadows cast across the facade, throwing geometric shade from unfinished business above. Although a name has been given for the first floor, the remaining vacancies above lend an uncertainty to the glass and steel character that fills the block. An unopened cardboard box rests in the second floor window, along with a triangle and a saw dolly. Undiscovered possibilities.
The 3M skin has all but vanished save for a small corner on the side of the building – a birth certificate. The pleasant purple layer has been placed atop the once yellow skin, layering for a New England winter or a nod to building codes. The lightly colored material has multiple instructions and diagrams and is marked with the distinct title of Foam 150. A foam filler for the remaining potential space and shifting that always occurs with a new edifice.
A construction worker on a mini scaffolding is tending to the unfinished interior places. Painting walls defines the space within. In one arm, he holds a paint roller and in the other, he grasps a pleasingly old-fashioned brush. A breath of nostalgia among a world now dominated by spray paint and blue masks. A white glove streaked with thin green streaks on his left hand and a black long-sleeved shirt splattered with white mistakes signal a grand opening, a new business, an economic opportunity. The paint roller still rules the giant from the inside out.