An open letter to The Villa:
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your friendship, your coffee, and your low prices. And thank you for serving food. When life’s moving too fast, or I am moving too slowly, you’re reliable, cheerful, and your coffee’s hot. You always have a chair for me, and your hours make it so that I can get a latte in the late afternoon.
For the past ten years, the Villa has been my safe place, the place where I’ve gone to do homework when I can’t stand my house, the place where I’ve gone to relax, and the place where I’ve met first dates and friends. It’s also a place where I’ve had conversations with random strangers who have sometimes become friends. You know that one table on the left against the wall? That’s where I first felt the inkling that one friend may become more than a friend. In fact, he’s become my fiancé.
In case you haven’t been, the Villa is downtown on Park Avenue. The space used to be the Bon Villa Bar, and when the light pours through the high windows in the afternoon, you can easily imagine the place as a smoke-filled bar. The band played in the back, and the back door leads to the “fighting alley,” or so my dad tells me.
I’ve put off writing about the Villa for years because it seems so obvious. And yes, it’s obvious, but it’s also comfortable. There’s a reason why it’s an anchor of downtown. On the rare times when I come to the Villa in the morning, the door never stays closed for long. The afternoon is a bit more peaceful. People linger over conversation at the open tables; others settle in behind their laptops.
If Idaho Falls were judged as a city on the Villa, I’d be okay with that. It’s egalitarian, open, clean, and altogether reasonable. Thanks, Villa.