There’s a shop in my neighbourhood with a patio that intrigues me every time I go past it. Which is just about every day.
They have a lovely patio. It has the following sign on it:
Which is lovely, right? Friendly, inviting, colourful. Sadly, the website isn’t operative right now, but if my research has not led me wrong, Corrie Gibson was a young artist who died in 2009. What her connection to the store was I don’t know, but the patio is there.
Except when your head turns to the right about 10 degrees, and you see THIS sign:
Hm. “Sit :: Relax :: Enjoy” vs. “PATIO IS FOR THE USE OF BAGELSHOP’S CUSTOMERS ONLY.” What’s the result? The patio isn’t used a great deal. And I think it’s because of the sign.
Messages are important, and they don’t exist independent of each other. When you send out mixed messages like this, you confuse and alienate the people who receive them.
Don’t do that.
UPDATED, July 12: I’ve been trying to figure out the deal with this patio. And this newsletter article from the local BIA makes things curiouser and curiouser:
“It’s not every day that a business owner turns part of his property into a public park but that’s just what The Ottawa Bagelshop’s Vince Piazza has done with his lovely new urban patio and garden.
Need to put your feet up after a shopping spree in Wellington West? Or maybe you just need a nice shady corner to read a book? No matter the reason, Ottawa Bagelshop’s Vince Piazza welcomes you to take advantage of his comfy and accessible new patio.
Nobody will ask you to buy or order anything when you’re enjoying the garden. It’s a gift of public space from Vince, and on the community’s behalf we want to say thanks!”