Wednesday, August 1, 2007

a question

i am wondering. is it me, my odd take on the reality of things or maybe my 60's mindset
coming back to me now that i am getting older, perhaps gasp,only menopausal musings?
i'm serious here.
i can remember the grocery store downtown. people shopping before catching a bus back home after a day of work or school. older folks with a handled bag or two to take home for the week. i had a friend that would buy a small octopus on ice to take home each friday for her gram to cook up. so i was excited to hear of a grocery finally, finally coming to downtown.
then i saw the planned store, the grand unveiling.
is it me, or is this a place only for the well heeled, upper crust. you know, the ones that can afford to live in the condos and lofts planned or there already.
speaking of condos and lofts, hummm, no middle or lower middle digs planned as i see it.
so, i'm wondering, how can you have a vibrant, living breathing, INTERESTING city without including everyone. the way it used to me only better.if not
might as well just roll up those sidewalks at 11:30 p.m. those condo and loft dwellers should be safely locked inside. they'll never know if they live in the city or fox chapel unless they open the drapes.

is it me. is this deliberate? am i paranoid or what?


  1. Interesting that you bring this up, I was in New York City in June, hadn't been there in at least 6 or more years.

    I noticed that many, many of the people appeared to be well heeled, there was a definite lack of the artsy, wacky or even earnest poor young professional types on the streets. I was visiting my 26 yr. old daughter who lives in Crooklyn (I just love saying that) & she said "Ma, that's b/c we can't afford to live here anymore."

    So I asked her if that's affecting the "juice" of the city that once was just so damn fun, exuberant, unpredictable. And she said Yeah.

    It's paradoxical in that the well heeled want to be near the heat/juice/life of the urban center, yet as soon as they come in prices go thru the roof, pricing all of the people who made Manhattan vibrant right off the island. the money tribe has spoken.

    ok, i'll quit now, just rambling.

  2. i'm glad to know it isn't just me.

  3. I thought it was odd how in the news they emphasized that it would be an "upscale" grocery store - as opposed to the choices that exist currently downtown - the lower scale seven elevens. -Rebecca

  4. "Douchebag" really is becoming the watchword for today's Pittsburgh, no?

  5. Living a hop, skip and jump outside of downtown, it is not much better. "Our" Giant Eagle on the Northside is a non-corporate store. So no fancy bakeries, no sushi and, apparently, no cleanliness. In this store, the desperation of the customers feeds into the quiet desperation of the employees, creating an unhappy cycle with a heaping side of dirt, unhealthy food and drug deals. One night, the jitney drivers told me to get out of there as something was going down. :-(

    The store will begin to turn around as the neighborhoods gentrify, but that won't be much help to our most vulnerable neighbors ... seniors, families who work but barely make ends meet, and so forth. I suppose they deserve to shop in squalor.

  6. If it's any consolation, (I know it's not), we, in Lawrenceville are also shopping in squalor at our non-corporate Giant Eagle. The new owners are trying to clean it up & getting a few "new things" stocked (new since 1992 or '93), but we've got a ways to go.

    Can always count on them for the basics, though & no one's ever alerted me to get out b/c something was about to "go down".

    Recently I bought 3 bandannas there, they had a rainbow of colors to choose from and there were 2 miracles about these bandannas:

    1. They were 100% cotton
    2. They were made in the USA

    I shoulda got more.

  7. I also shop at the Cedar Ave Giant Eagle, which the employees themselves refer to as the "Ghetto Iggle." Yet I have never been advised to leave because something was "going down," nor have I ever seen a drug deal take place within the store.

    I also never thought it was dirty. Poorly stocked in some areas, certainly no fancy cheeses or olives or ethnic foods or sushi or even those guilty-pleasure boneless barbecue chicken fingers, but not dirty.

  8. Oh, I've seen encrusted along the produce section, against the bottoom shelves and on the merchandise itself. I only purchase sealed items there. The milk is usually covered in grit and dirt. The store has a general rundown look to it that I know is difficult to rememdy without lots of money, but it doesn't take money to clean.

    I have the luxury of shopping elsewhere. But a lot of folks don't. And until the owners need to capture my regular shopping dollars (as opposed to quick in and out), they aren't going to make any changes.

    Being warned away by jitney drivers was serious business. I appreciated the warning.

    I'd rather shop locally than on Mt. Nebo. But I need some real options between squalor and muckety mucks