Montgomery Doesn’t Suck

Montgomery Doesn’t Suck

As an Angeleno with a huge crush on Montgomery, Alabama, I regularly try to convince people that Montgomery doesn’t, in fact, suck. Part justification of my own behavior and part personal goal to convince the world there’s something beautiful to be found everywhere you look, I have unintentionally branded myself as Montgomery’s number one cheerleader.

But today it sucks.

Two days ago I chatted with a stranger and the unavoidable conversation came up. “So, where are you from?” I need to start lying about my origins because my defenses are quite stale. “I love Montgomery. It’s not so bad. Los Angeles is overrated. Montgomery thinks they have bad traffic but let me tell ya.” The stranger, a native to Montgomery, countered that I’ll inevitably get sick of this place because there’s nothing to do. He said it’s only a matter of time before I miss celebrity sightings and beaches. He, like so many, thinks Montgomery has nothing to offer.

Forgive me for being so bold, but he just doesn’t know where to look.

After a number of conversations with Montgomery’s most attractive socialites (aka my friends), it seems the city needs a dedicated space to look for entertainment. And what better spot than on this fangirl’s personal blog? I spent the weekend developing a calendar of events in Montgomery to prove that there actually is stuff to do here. Which made me realize there’s loads more happening than even I realized. This place isn’t as bad as you think!

Now, don’t brush me off as an infatuated, rose-colored-lens spirit squat nut case just yet, Montgomery. I see your pimply flaws too.

This whole city has only two sit-down, non-Starbucks coffee shops. Two! As someone who works from a computer, it’s awfully frustrating that my options are this limited. And today my options are nonexistent. Of the two coffee shops: one doesn’t have WiFi (and is changing locations this weekend, so internetless work isn’t even an option) and the other is closed on Sundays.

Today is Sunday.

There are plenty of other places to camp out at, like Panera and Starbucks, but as a lover of Montgomery I’m also a lover of supporting Montgomery businesses. But apparently I’m the only one because major franchises have more than enough incentive to set up shop here and squeeze mom-and-pops out. The locals are eating that shit up.

In Montgomery the further East you go, the further into California you get. It annoys me. The East side of Montgomery is home to a massive outdoor shopping mall that looks like it was dragged and dropped from anywhere else in the country. Old Navy, JoAnn’s Fabrics, Target, and Victoria’s Secret are among the many massive chains found here. Friggin’ Del Taco even had a brief stint (but Alabamians don’t understand Del Taco so it didn’t last). This shopping mall is surrounded by new housing developments that look just like the ones I left back in Southern California.

I’m writing this post from the East side because my only local coffee shop option was closed today. Some days I’m grateful for the shops out here, but often I’m irritated that there’s such a lack of interest in developing the city’s character. I crave character.

Here’s my socio-political jab you knew was coming: Montgomery is a conservative city in a conservative state. Conservatives say they like small business and working class, but in practice it appears they’d rather spend their money supporting the wealthy. In Montgomery they don’t seem to be putting their money where their mouth is. I’m not trying to say all conservatives are hypocritical, but I’m kind of living in their mecca right now and there are SEVEN Starbuckses* here and two local coffee shops.

Measuring solely by the coffee shop standard, the behavior doesn’t match the rhetoric.

But I digress.

I’m told time and time again that I’m supposed to like Los Angeles more than Montgomery, but I really don’t. Montgomery is my favorite, despite its devastating lack of caffeine. I just need to convince everybody else to start shopping at local businesses so I can get more coffee options.

That’s all my naive soul wants. Is that so much to ask?


*What’s the plural of Starbucks?

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14 replies to “Montgomery Doesn’t Suck

  1. christine

    Pictures to support your argument???? A real coffee shop looks like….
    Thanks for making a sales pitch for your new home. It’s a refreshing read.

    • liz

      Well, Starbucks is inarguably a real coffee shop. And I actually love Starbucks, but always prefer to support local businesses when I can. I’d say a real coffee shop is one with an espresso machine and lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, and the like are all on the menu. Bonus points for good working environment (big tables, comfy seats, and wifi).

  2. Deacon Ann

    We all like the familiar of home. Mongomerymay be more of a suburb like Glendora or Covina rather a metopolitan city like L.A. In that regard, I think I would like Montgomery. Not looking for caffeine but I might miss having Asian food (Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Thai).

    • liz

      You should make your way here! There are some fantastic Korean places!

  3. Nancy C Sassaman

    Starbucks–n. sing.; Starbuckses, pl.
    Possessive adj., sing.; Starbucks’s
    Possessive adj., pl.; Starbuckses’

    But I prefer the nonstandard: “Starbuckets”

    • liz

      I knew I shouldn’t have posted the question! I just have just asked you directly. I’m thinking I should have used “Starbucksi” now

  4. |

    Great to hear you love Montgomery! My wife and I love it as well. It’s the perfect size city for us.

    If you want a 24/7 place to work you could consider the $90/mo Cowerx46 coworking space that just opened up:

    It’s at 46 Commerce St and as a remote worker I find it very helpful for getting out of the house. It has sweet internet.

    • liz

      It seems like a delightful space! I was just introduced to it this past week. It’s definitely on my list to check out!

    • |

      +1 @eljahlofgren

      • liz

        You’re all ganging up on me!

  5. Allonah

    Your problem of saying of people not understanding why you like Montgomery over your hometown might be solved if you start claiming Potsdam as your place of origin. Just saying.

    • liz

      No way. I love me some Potsdam too!

  6. Jenn

    Small business isn’t just retail sweetie.

    • liz

      Please do not call me sweetie. I find it patronizing.

      And, what makes you think I don’t know that?

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