shut downs

Aron Gent

Last month I read that the SF Chronicle was likely to shut down. Now, it seems like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will do the same. Hopefully web-only versions will remain, and small community grassroots rags will pop up. Has the West Coast been harder hit than the East?

In that vein, Slate has started a Flickr group called Shoot the Recession and encourage readers to submit photos of not only closed storefronts but also silver linings and unexpected side effects:

We welcome photos of closed stores and vacant homes; they’re clearly part of this story. But we would like to encourage our readers to find surprising ways of recording this recession. Take a shot of the contents of the box you brought home with you when you were laid off. Take a shot of the handwritten sign at your local coffee shop apologizing for the price hike on two eggs, any style. Rather than shooting the empty storefront, take a portrait of the local druggist who just closed up shop. NPR recently reported on the brisk business mechanics are doing these days as drivers are holding on to their old cars longer — document the silver linings as well as the ominous clouds.

4 stores that have closed in my neighborhood in the past few months – a video store, CD store, chain grocery and a window store in an adjacent area. There must be more, but these are on my habitual rabbit trails. The closing of the chain market leaves the neighborhood without a major grocery. Word on the street is that the store was not really in the red, but at the same time not making enough of a profit to be worthwhile for headquarters. Strangely, people seem to eat out often enough in this city that I haven’t really heard too many complaints. Ever since moving into the city, I’ve shopped at a couple of small corner markets, so I’ve been immune to the effects of the closing.

It might actually be a good thing in the short term since there has been talk of the local Saturday farmer’s market adding a day during the week. Eventually, however, a Whole Foods is slated to come in. Despite convenience, I wish it wouldn’t.


~ by Jin on March 10, 2009.

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