Friday, October 29, 2004

Downtown is now


I stopped by the new grocery store downtown after training. There is a new joint at Pine and 10th called City Grocery. I got some sushi. It looks like a mini straubs. They have a bit of work to do for a produce section-no mangoes, but I know they are going to up it soon. They got plenty o' staples. They got two levels and a lot of ready to eat foods, a lot like Straubs. Didn't have time to price check to see if they goot the Straub prices, which I am sure they do. I know I will still hit Soulard Market for the bulk, but this joint has got great diversity in the products and this will give it an edge to that quickee mart on Cass over by the Panda AC. I saw Ann Haubrich and Art Dwyer inside buying some pears. They are two of the most definitely cooler people I know. I know things are going well when I see those guys. They had some ideas on places to do the card. Art told me he used to train in the armory when he was in the army. He said it is huge and could hold 5000, and it would work fine even if I have only a fraction of that. I would like to take a look.

On my way out I saw Craig Heller. He is one of the real developers downtown, not one of those dirtbag conmen who feed of the government teat for Fed dollars for projects that provide no real benefit other than their pocketbook- i.e. the ballpark deal, Century deal, the Dome, Wash Ave runway lights etc. He is putting down the organic seeds that generate real economic progress. Anyway, I emailed him last week about finding an indoor location for my next fights. He actually was thinking about it. He called over from across the street as I got into the Mercury. I took a pic of him as he walked toward the store. He let me know that he may have a place, but he is having problems for he may need to have the stuff moved within the property. It is good to know, for I really need to get that place lined up soon. We got plenty of fighters ready for December and I need the right place to put it. I talked to Joe Edwards earlier in the day about doing fights over his way, but we got to make the costs work, however he even admitted that it is pricey in that direction but it is very supportve. I think I need a hungry partner to match my hunger. I don't have enough to survive a heavy pinch of the retail prices at this point.

Downtown is actually starting to pop a bit more. It is a long based theory we used to joke about back in Chicago, and I will only touch on it for it is a complex theory, but it is called the white girl syndrome. It is based on how a neighborhood turns when you see young white girls walking unescorted in neighborhoods, the rent will go up. I have dosed it with more complex nuances for it is too simple by the title of the theory, for we said it as kind of a joke. I remember seeing an editorial cartoon a few years back showing a black family hanging out in front of their house commenting "there goes the neighborhood" when a wide eyed white "urban pioneer" couple moved in next door in an urban neighborhood. I find that amusing, and I am sure more than one person might get upset by this thought.

So Downtown is starting to pop in a more genuine way. The buds have been visible for a while, but some of those seeds are starting to get firmly rooted. It has even changed in the past year. I house sat at Margie Newman's joint about two years ago, which was an incredible experience that I will never forget, and downtown has changed since then. The fully stocked grocery store that is open late is a big one. On the whole, for the better. There are downsides, but at least there are at least the opportunities where downsides exist, when before nothing was happening. It is pretty neat. We need to keep it in perspective. Of course the only problem is I can't afford any of it.

All we need now is a 24 hour taqueria cart downtown to get me loitering on the downtown streets.

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