in most cities i have been, the downtown is a mix of two different types of people and establishments. first: big corporate type businesses like office buildings, banks headquarters etc and the businesses that cater to the business folk, like fancy restaurants and cafes. these are the adults and business people
then there are the small time places like coffee shops, cafes record stores, thrift stores used book stores etc. generally with a counter culture feel. these are the kids.
both these two distinct world's interacting side by side.
but downtown Olympia is almost exclusively the second type of people and businesses. there may be a couple banks downtown, and i can't think of any offices or any place where a business person might be.
because of this, when you walk downtown, which is fairly active throughout the day and evening, all you see and interact with are young hip people. everyone working at every place is a young hip person. since all the businesses are independent and generally cater to the counter culture kids the employees tend to be extra counter culture versus the regular person on the street.
it is an interesting sensation. it makes the city feel as if it is run entirely by kids. i have never been in such an environment before.
i guess college campuses are primarily kids, but they don't have the feeling of being run by the kids.
i find myself being surprised to kind of miss the corporate element downtown.

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