6.3.05

gentrifying food

so i was getting my hair done last week (go ahead and groan) and my hairdresser - who by the way, is a genius - told me that she's opening her own salon in the neighborhood, in a big factory building that's been in a state of renovation for about a year. i actually know this building well, having ridden by on the bus many times - a sign has been up advertising the coming gym for months.

apparently, a gourmet garage is landing in that building. wary of the whole foods phenomenon, which currently threatens to destroy the farmer's market in union square - i thought before i grumble about it i should probably learn more about the company.

apparently it's a different type of high-end food store, reveling in novelty and diversity, with lower prices and spawning new stores. and it's coming here, but maybe that's not so bad.

i still wonder what will happen to the smaller stores in the neighborhood though. jane jacobs said that diversity of businesses and production makes for healthy cities and argues that innovations arise from the inherent 'inefficiencies' that exist in small businesses. This makes me think about diversity in ecological processes - certainly i'm wary of large grocers that buy food from massive distributers rather than from local, small farmers. While this neighborhood has grown beyond the capacity and apparently, the quality and variety of food available in the local supermarket that has been around forever - why does it have to be a chain store??!

and of course the same demographic and economic trends in the neighborhood that brings on the big bad grocers, help my hairdresser start a small business with her sister, which i'm really happy about.

perhaps i'm just getting old and cranky and resistant to change.

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