It's the start of another week of "fun", as we've come to redefine the word, right boys & girls? For those of you that did NOT visit this page since Saturday (shame on you), you might want to scroll down and take a gander at the post I put up regarding the SCOTTS store closing, and see what an "excellent adventure" the missus and I were treated to.
Then, you might want to skid on over to the blog: CHILD OF THE FORT (link listed at left) for some history of the store, as well as Kristina's take on this whole mess. Believe me, it IS worth a read!
It makes me wonder WHEN the people of this part of town will wake the hell UP, take a stand and say: "Enough is truly enough"!
One thing that I believe needs to go is this "good old boy" network that has produced little in the way of reversing the nasty trends of our neighborhoods down here for well over a decade, but as long as the voters enjoy wallowing in BS, I fear little will change.
But sadly, THEY didn't get voted in.
Which only goes to show me that whatever "status quo" is in place MUST be what the people "want".
And that's not a helluva lot of change for the better, is it?
Still, it pisses me off to NO end, when I see more of the same crap perpetuated on the south side year after frigging year.
We did "manage" to get a MENARDS...and a WAL-MART.
So, where exactly is the REST of this retail resurgence that is to take the place of ALL those businesses we've LOST?
Not seeing it, people.
And while developers fight the populace up NORTH or out WEST to create even MORE businesses (to overly-inundated markets there) where they aren't even wanted (but get built anyway), WE, on the other hand, have to sit idly by and "hope" something gets tossed our way, and to what end?
Nothing is being done to refurb existing homes (or even tearing down ones that have sat vacant for YEARS), making them a lot more affordable for starter houses for couples or single moms. Hell, I'd rather have empty space around me than what I loosely term as "neighbors".
It's all about RENTALS, and face it, the renters you get TODAY (by and large) are NOTHING like those from say, thirty years ago. I know because MY folks used to rent until I was in high school, and we were NEVER called "trash" by anyone. No one even KNEW we WERE renters, because my folks made sure they TOOK CARE of what they were renting.
That's only one piece of this puzzle, though.
The lack of retail is allowed because not one person in city hall tells these developers to "Either build down south or you can't build at all". No one has the balls to tell the developers what the CITY actually NEEDS, but rather goes along with what the city would LIKE to have, courtesy of these developers. That's why that white elephant of a ballpark/complex is crawling along at a turtle's pace.
And those developers don't really WANT to build down here, because they don't want to see their businesses close up after a brief time, due to crime.
But since the city has seen fit to gather most all of the criminals and other human flotsam and deposit them squarely in MY quadrant of town, all for the sake of getting some federal and state money to further imbue such people with their multi-generational sense of "entitlement", why bother to fight city hall, when it's easier to move the hell away?
Well, that might work in a better economy, but when people DO move into those nice, $200+K homes, and then their job goes in the tank, and they're still stuck with that HUGE mortgage, it all makes you stop and think: "Gee, maybe we SHOULD have stayed in that smaller home that was easier to buy with that lower mortgage, or was paid off free and clear, than become foreclosed on, screwing us royally".
That's what caused a LOT of the problems here...something we quaintly called "white flight".
And in a much better economy, it's not that bad an idea, in spite of the fact that it HASTENS the decline of once good parts of a city.
I mean, after YOU move, you don't really care WHAT moves into your former house, do you?
LET the criminals take over...turn that whole part of town into something resembling a John Carpenter Escape From New York venue, by all means! What the hell, right? ALL we need is for "The Duke" (played by the late Isaac Hayes) to come chuggin' down the streets in his steam-powered caddy, with posse in tow, and some fifty-foot high walls around the whole area to make it happen.
This latest retail/grocery closing only serves to steel my resolve, when it comes to taking some kind of stand.
"But why keep banging your head against the wall, Bob?"
"Because it feels SO damn good when I stop, people!"
That's not to say if some serious money was dumped in my lap, I wouldn't entertain the notion of LEAVING this part of town.
I would...and in a Philly heartbeat!
I get annoyed with wondering whether or not some bullets will come whizzing through my house every day, because some saggy pant-wearing, numbnut asswipe has nothing better to do than show off his SKS or his 9MM to his homies.
I am bothered that city leaders think THIS type of behavior is OK, even though they SAY it's reprehensible to the media (who pretty much seem tucked neatly in the city's back pocket, as it is).
There are precious FEW of us that find this type of "living" more akin to SURVIVING.
Time to turn that crap around.
The city would be well off to claim these houses, get some REAL, decent, tax-paying people back into them, and then watch the businesses come back in droves! And the city coffers would certainly benefit from the TAX revenue, wouldn't they?
Cripes, the "developers" would be ready to slit one another's throats to get their fingers in THAT pie.
It's already been said that the sheer population density (I know most all my neighbors are really f$cking dense) provides the SECOND LARGEST amount of buying power for the entire city of Fort Wayne...that ALONE should say something to someone.
But wouldn't it be MUCH better to say that this buying power comes from honest taxpayers...rather than from drug money?
Got news for you...that is EXACTLY where most of this "buying power" comes from. Not all, just most.
But that's another post...for another day.
In the meantime...
Stay warm and DO have a safe day out there.