A few months ago my neighborhood hardware store shut down on Gerard Avenue. It was a tremendously useful store, even though I didn't make as much use of it as I should have. But with it gone the only other alternative for household fixtures and such is the Home Depot, which is a hassle and a bit farther away.
However, with this mom & pop shop closed, it did leave me wondering just what would take its place. I could think of many good opportunities for such a large space.
A book store? Nah, get real. Nobody reads around here.
An electronics store? Nope, too plum a target for jackers.
What I'd really hope for was a produce store, like a Korean grocery-type of place. We used to have one on the same block, until that, too, was closed down and a useless tax prep place put in the space instead. So much for providing good, fresh fruit to the poor masses of the ghetto. Why should we try to eat healthy and live longer?
See, this is what's wrong with the Bronx. Good stores close down, and utterly useless crap is put in their place. I know this. I've been living here all my life. But even I was unprepared for what eventually took over the prime spot the hardware store used to occupy:
I mean, WTF? How more cliched can you get? Seriously? Do we need this? We already have a liquor store half a block over! Why the fuck do we need another ghetto ass poison-water dispenser in the same neighborhood? You think this kind of shit happens in Gramercy Park or Murray Hill?
And I wouldn't even be complaining all that much if the spirits were at least good quality. You know, maybe a nice selection of imported mature wines? Make the place real classy. But even though the store is not yet stocked or open for business, you can just tell from looking at that awning and the big ass "Discount" portion of the sign and know that sophistication is not going to be on high demand here.
Guess it's true after all. The "man" really just wants liquor stores and greasy fast food joints on every corner of the 'hood.
(P.S. --And don't even get me started on the Army recruitment center located just above the liquor store. The symbolism is not lost on me.)
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