Thursday, October 20, 2011

If this is progress, take me to the wayback machine

Despite a heroic community fight, this unassuming set of storefronts is slated to become an EZ Pawn in early 2012. I didn't agree with all the protesters. Some were in the mix because they don't like what a nearby pawn shop says about their neighborhood. Classic nimbyism. Classic shmucks.

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.


Rosemary said...

LOVE those pics. One of those wigs would go well with that pink ballgown for a kind of (belated) punk Marie Antoinette Halloween getup. And I prefer the parakeet to the I-don't-even-know-what-kind-of-wacked-out-bird that's in the window of the pet shop in downtown Morgantown. You're making me think I need to take a photo of it...and the sign noting that they're taking pre-orders for prairie dogs.

leslie said...

blue parakeet! I want one!