We are learning a lot every step of the way over here. We are learning to speak the language of the Department of Health, forming complete sentences peppered with: Certified Food Protection Manager, Grease Interceptor, and Mechanical Warewashing. Jaunts to the Department of Revenue find us uttering with flourish: "Look here at our Completed Verification of Lawful Presence!" We march confidently to the upper reaches of City Hall with our Certificate of Appropriateness tightly in hand, a smug half-smile that, no, we don't need that dastardly Air Rights Encroachment Permit, thank you very much.
Permitland is a wild and wooly place; the switchbacks, double-backs, confused expressions are many. We are, mostly, encountering helpful and good souls along the path, people that seem genuinely interested in what we're doing with our lil' bookstore-café in the heart of our city. They are teaching us a new language (or three) and, while they hold the keys to many (okay, all) elements of our operation, we look at each of these good people working in 1980's office spaces (under terrible lighting) and the thought occurs: You very well may be dropping in soon for a good read for your grandchild or grabbing a glass of wine in the corner with your e-reader....or inspecting our premises very, very soon (insert nervous smiley face here).