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©John R. Turner

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Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont

Capitol Grounds Coffee Shop
A curious feature of urban life is that we get so used to the scenes we pass every day we lose all sense of their quality. Are they ugly? Are they pleasing? Are they aesthetically icky? We don’t know because we don’t stop to ask. I was thinking of this just a few days ago when I was looking at the building on the corner of Elm and State Streets in Montpelier which for years was the home of the Chittenden Bank but which now, on the ground floor, houses the Capitol Grounds coffee shop and Mail Boxes. It’s a fairly handsome building with many architectural details that repay scrutiny. But I suspect it’s a scrutiny they seldom get. Here’s what I wonder: does a pleasing scene that we pay no attention to somehow sink into us nonetheless and make us more civilized people? I’d like to think that it does, but I can’t be sure. I am sure of this, though. If we’ll look more carefully than we normally do at the scenes that surround us, they’ll take on meaning they never had before.