Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A bakery that wants your dollars but not your dough



     How much cash do you have, right now in your pocket?
    Pulling out the money clip I plucked off my nightstand this morning, rushing to catch the 7:12, I find ... $140, six twenties and two tens.
    Quite a lot, really. Plenty to walk around downtown Chicago, ready to pay for cabs and lunches and trains.
     Only I don't take cabs. I usually Divvy, which uses a key fob, or, for longer hauls, Uber, which you pay for on your phone.
    And lunch is usually charged, unless I don't want my wife to know that I popped for something indulgent—a sushi feast for instance—so the cash is a broom to cover my tracks.
     And for the 'L' I have a Ventra card.
     In reality, the cash is an artifact, a quirk, an old-fashioned habit, like carrying a handkerchief, which I also do.
     I would feel naked without money, wouldn't leave home without it. The fear being that I would encounter places that don't take credit cards. When exactly the opposite is true: what's happening is businesses are beginning to stop accepting hard money.



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17 comments:

  1. Young people only use cash to buy marijuana. Crackin' me up over here! And, I'm thinking, true.

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  2. In my part of town, there are still some businesses that are "cash only."

    I guess the "credit/debit card only" businesses just shut down if the internet or electricity fails.

    john

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  3. I can't quite imagine a world without actual money; it would be a difficult transition for sure, one that would seem to favor those in certain economic and social classes.

    The cookies in the "Goddess..." bakery are gorgeous, but that is the sort of place I usually avoid like the plague ($10 for a turkey sandwich...). It seems to scream for a certain demographic which may put more emphasis on status than on value. Well, maybe one cookie...

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  4. A couple of years ago, the New Yorker had an article about the efforts of (I think) Norway to go cashless. The biggest problem was in rural areas with no or undependable broadband.

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  5. A large percentage of my customers work for cash. Many small construction companies, landscapers, painters, etc., work for cash. I know restaurants and bars that (illegally) pay their employees cash. I don't see a cashless society in my lifetime.

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  6. "gradually and then suddenly." Life ends that way, too.
    I'll miss cash if it goes the way of 8-tracks and Kodachrome. I like cash. I like coins. When I visit other countries, I bring home money as a souvenirs. I don't care that I can't spend it here. I just like be having it.
    I suppose the day will come when you'll have to visit a museum to look at money, but probably not in my lifetime. Although, there is already a money museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on LaSalle. Maybe I'll check it out before it gets too crowded.

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  7. "And for the 'L' I have a Ventra card." I realize that that's the authorized CTA spelling, but I thought you were on the "el" train, Neil. Heck, googling it I see why I thought that. In the post "Pedantry is hardly a secret vice" (no need to tell *me* that!) from 2014, you wrote, about using "el" in "You Were Never in Chicago:" "I find 'L' inelegant, and figured, if 'el' is good enough for Nelson Algren, it's good enough for me."

    Just wondering, NS, have you changed your mind, or is 'L' Sun-Times policy?

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    1. I changed my mind. When I wrote "You Were Never in Chicago" I didn't realize that the CTA had called it the 'L' for a century, and that combination of official imprint and lengthy use seems to trump old Nelson. I made a purely aesthetic decision on a question that was not purely aesthetic. In a nutshell, I was wrong.

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    2. Gosh, I wish some other public people were willing to admit they were wrong, dead wrong, inconceivably wrong, but they won't.

      john

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    3. "Dead wrong" brings to mind H.L.Mencken, a very public atheist. Inexplicably finding himself at the Pearly Gates, confronted by the heavenly host he planned simply to say: "Gentlemen. I was wrong."

      Tom

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    4. Yes, it's refreshing, if not shocking, to see someone these days offer the bold declaration that you end with, NS.

      Of course, "You Were Never in Chicago" was edited by your buddy Bill Savage, who, last I noticed, remains one of the engineers of the "el" train, including using Nelson Algren for back-up.

      Tough call to me, since I've always preferred "el" myself, but I guess I agree with your reasoning here. Regardless, I'm not gonna be calling The Bean "Cloud Gate" anytime soon. ; )

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    5. New York use "El' because they have a train line with 'L' for it's designation.
      Chicago has always used 'L'.

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  8. I carry cash in the event I get robbed here on the West side it's really a lot more pleasant when the mugger takes a couple hundred dollars happily runs away and doesn't smash you in the face with her pistol because you tell them all I have is a debit card

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  9. @FME- "her pistol"?

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    1. That's the generic feminine widely used a few years ago in the law biz, sometimes not so appropriately. We've long since abandoned the generic masculine in English, but I believe it persists in other languages. In Korean for instance, children are "boys," even when they're all girls in some instances.

      john

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  10. I have two children in college. They have not used cash once in their combined 6 years. Not once. They use a credit card and pay off in full every month. If a friend gets the pizza they pay them back with veno. I guess they are not getting any marijuana. I actually know they are not because they are nursing students and subject to drug testing.

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  11. Seems silly to use a debit card or credit card for a purchase of a few bucks. Some places even say no credit unless the purchase is more than 10 dollars.

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