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  • Happy Birthday, America!

    Posted on July 4th, 2011 Toby Weiss 3 comments
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    This moment on this South Side front yard perfectly editorializes my feelings about our country: deflated hopes and nostalgia for democracy.

    It’s full steam ahead into Coporatocracy, with both Republicans and Democrats serving only the 1% by flagrantly ignoring indisputable evidence of criminal actions in the financial sector that now runs America into the ground. It makes me feel angry, hopeless, scared and sad. Every firecracker that goes off sounds like the American Dream blowing up in our faces.

    But then in the course of 24-hours during this Independence weekend, 3 glimmers of hope emerged from the ever-present fireworks smoke that blankets my South Side neighborhood.

    Bates & Ulena
    Mr. Yummy’s has been quietly for sale for quite a while. Read more about it here. Over the past couple of weeks, folks have been scraping and painting and cleaning the interior, which was a good sign. And then this weekend, the signs above appeared on the building. Mr. Yummy’s (and they’ve kept the sign!) has been re-purposed as a drive-thru laundry service!

    I love that they took a look at the layout of this building on its lot at a busy corner and saw a new way to use it without altering the basic fabric. I love that its a rather unique type of business for this area. Personally, I love that I won’t be able to forget to pick up my dry cleaning because there will be a visual reminder twice a day, every day!

    Kingshighway & Eichelberger
    Less than a mile away, this old gas station that became an American Legion Post is now becoming something else: an ice cream parlor & deli!

    The new owners have been remodeling the inside for a 1950s feel, plan to have both indoor and outdoor seating, and be open for pickles and ice cream by the end of July. And much like Yummy’s, they’re making do with re-purposing a small building, but on an even busier intersection. No need to demolish something – let’s recycle. And it feels like the return of modesty as a virtue.

    Bates & Grand
    The 2 storefronts that were El Burrito Loco are in the final stretches of opening as a Turkish restaurant, which adds a great new note to the international symphony that this immediate area has become. It’s great that those storefronts were vacant for such a short period of time.

    Actually, it’s great that all 3 of these buildings in my immediate neighborhood were vacant for a short period of time – that they were deemed desirable and usable by 3 sets of brave entrepreneurs willing to take a chance during this Not So Great Depression. Statistically, the odds are stacked against them. Then again, our entire economy has shifted, and maybe you need to be real tiny so the mega-corporations that run the country don’t even notice you. It’s like the sneaky, backdoor way of upholding the American Dream, and I am grateful for the presence – and timing – of these 3 new businesses that fully represent Independence. Happy 4th of July!

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    3 Responses to “Happy Birthday, America!”

    1. “It’s full steam ahead into Coporatocracy, with both Republicans and Democrats serving only the 1% by flagrantly ignoring indisputable evidence of criminal actions in the financial sector that now runs America into the ground. It makes me feel angry, hopeless, scared and sad. Every firecracker that goes off sounds like the American Dream blowing up in our faces”. 100% percent in agreement, except I now refer to them as the National Party, featuring a Repuke and a Dim wing.
      It’s good to hear about another joint going into the El Burrito Loco space. I wonder if the Turkish place will be as good as the Intanbul Cafe (or was it Cafe Istanbul?) which was in the Old Orchard area in Webster. The best, and I mean THE BEST, hummus I’ve ever had, anywhere. Not to mention all of the other items on the menu. They only lasted about a year.
      “…so the mega-corporations that run the country don’t even notice you”. Yep, no trusts or monopolies here…move along. “Free market” and “competition” my arse.

    2. steve carosello

      I had not heard the great news about the repurposing of the gas station! That had to be the single saddest American Legion post on earth, with the inexplicable overlooking of its tattered, shredded old flag and its continuing pleas for members. “Nam/Desert Storm I/II Vets-You’re Killing Us” was particularly pitiful.

    3. The old florist at January and Eichelberger is going to be a pet boutique. My Southampton newsletter said its name is Pawsitively Fintastic. That building has been empty for ages, so nice to see it will be occupied too!