In journalism, in news, we're supposed to remain unbiased. Of course, anyone who watches the 24-hour news channels on either side of your idealogical slant knows that's complete cowpatties.
Still, we try. At least I try. I can only speak for myself. Overall, I think I do a pretty good job. But, when you live in the town you cover, and cover that town as much as I have covered Morristown these last two years, you make attachments. You're not going to stay completely outside if you're always on the inside.
When it comes to Zebu Forno, I am unabashedly, and unashamedly biased.
Zebu Forno, as anyone knows who has seen me here–has stopped by for my Office Hours, wished Morristown Patch a happy first birthday here, popped in over St. Patrick's Day to have their photo taken–has been my office. It has been my go-to hangout spot. It has been my lunch spot. It has been the place where, when friends are coming from out of town, I suggest we grab a cup of coffee and a slice.
It hasn't been perfect. One can only hear Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" so many times before they run screaming out into the summer heat. I never really cared. I may be able to get a bigger sandwich for less somewhere else. I can make a pretty darn good cup of coffee on my own at home, which has a faster wifi connection. But, none of that mattered. I didn't come here for all of that.
Why? That can be told in a list of first names. Bill. Bria. Johnny. Jackie. Kate. Once upon a time there was Jasmine, Sam and Andreas. These weren't just people I knew in a work-related capacity. During the quiet hours of the day, we shot the bull. It wasn't always about work. It was my Cheers without the booze (though you could always BYO, so I suppose it was Cheers without "Norm!" Anyone under 20 years old probably doesn't get that joke).
I'm writing this post from Zebu. Naturally.
Of course, I'll go on. The employees will go on. Bill Oliver, the owner, will go on. But, like Greenberry's and its closing earlier this year was a blow to the gut, not just for those that needed their Morning Joe but for those that called it a home away from home, losing Zebu Forno for me, and many others, is going to be much more than just another store closing.
Such is the risk of getting too attached. Such is the risk of being unabashedly, unashamedly biased. I wouldn't have done it any other way.