The Watertown skyline is changing fast, as new condos and mixed-use complexes pop up faster than you can say “Town Diner.” A drive down Arsenal Street features lots of big, half-finished structures where investors and contractors have high hopes for a big pay-off.
Meanwhile, on the west side, a different kind of new beginning is taking place. The payoff is less financial and more personal. It’s not as flashy, but I find it more inspiring than what’s happening on Arsenal Street. It’s the Power Café (corner of Main & Lexington St).
New business owner Ranit Schwartz (see photo) is helping persons living with disabilities gain vocational skills and experience as employees of the Power Café. I chatted with Ranit yesterday while enjoying a big mug of great coffee (organic, Furnace Hills Coffee, roasted by employees with developmental disabilities).
Do you long for real connection with real people in your neighborhood? Do you like spaces where children are honored with crayons and paper set out for them? Does your book group need a place to meet where you can get a freshly-made snack? Have you been praying for those on the margins in our society but not doing much to support them?
I love everything about Power Café. In the midst of our building boom, it feels like the unofficial HQ for a “Keep Watertown Real” movement. Go for the coffee. Go for the free wifi. Go to support the employees, who are people for whom employment is particularly life-giving and live-changing. Start by liking their facebook page. See you there.