But I did agree with the jewelry shop owner a couple doors down, worried that his business (already displaced once due to land grabs to the east) is now vulnerable. And I agreed that one key piece of the EZ Pawn model -- payday loans -- is a scourge in an area where unemployment and foreclosure are running amok.
But mostly I'm worried about what's happening to my local retail corridor. The longstanding funeral home has already closed. My favorite portrait studio is in the process. We've lost taquerias and Chinese restaurants, independent dollar stores and barber shops. I fear our beloved hardware store is next.
No, this area isn't ripe for the Gaps and Trader Joes of this world, but the T-Mobiles and the Wal-Marts may well be on their way. Before my favorite storefronts are papered over and sanitized, I thought it was worth displaying the good old days of anything goes.