Gentrification. Grr.

Last night, as expected, my friendly local grocery folded up shop. The building is to be ripped out and replaced by condos with a Lunds at street level. Now I have two beefs with this.

Another raft of condos going up nicely illustrates the creeping gentrification of the neighborhood. Handily close to both the U campus and downtown, I'm not really sure why that didn't happen some time ago, but there you have it. Last year the house on one side of mine was torn down and replaced by a huge high-rent behemoth with all the aesthetics of a Soviet workers' bloc. The one on the other side just went for the equivalent of about 30 years rent on my place. This keeps up, families and grad students alike are going to be priced out of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood altogether.

My other complaint is more personal. All my life I've lived within walking distance of the neighborhood grocery. This wasn't so terribly relavent in San Antonio, where one drives everywhere anyway and the local store was a notorious dumping ground for expired dairy products. Since moving to Chicago for college, though, I've always been within a half-mile, tops. In fact, since graduating from college I've never lived more than about four blocks from the grocer. Having more-or-less sworn off of car culture ages ago, I find this quite liberating. Now I'm facing a season or so without.

Before anyone suggests I'm just being selfish with my second point, I'd observe that I'm far from the only person in my neighborhood without a car. The folks in the retirement home down the block will certainly experience more disruption than myself going the winter without immediate-vicinity groceries. At least I can still readily hop on a bike for most of the winter. And these are both independent of the fact that it's a Lund's moving in -- it'll be a bit more upscale, but still a small, locally owned chain. That counts for something.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on September 12, 2005 8:14 AM.

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