What can be said about Cleveland, Tennessee? Perhaps its ambassador, the Diplomat Motel, a sagging fleabag of odd smells and rusty plumbing, sitting as it does at the fringe of a used car lot, tells part of the story. But then, any $35 hotel room is probably an unfair representation of the city in which it sits. How about this: less than a mile up the road from the Diplomat is a shopping center with a brand new Starbucks, with wifi and high school kids who joke that slinging coffee for the rest of their lives would be a desirable career—a joke because they know they can and will do much more.
Actually, the above probably says as much about Starbucks as anything else.