A butcher, a baker, a fruit and vegetable stand… a walkable community

Tomorrow is the Cliburn Manor tear down ceremony. We have not been clued in to what may go on the site (my guess is MVH already has plans). We’ve seen a drawing of an HBA inspired McCommunity- and the developers of the new Kroger showed us something even more unlikely.

But, maybe, we’ll just end up with a green field for a while.

Yet, I yearn for something more. Corner stores. My office was a corner grocery for most of its life. From 1926-1930 or so- it was a Kroger store. The best butcher shop in the neighborhood was at the corner of Adams and Morton (as I was told by Carl Chatfield, who grew up in the neighborhood- to later be a cop in it).

How often do any of you buy fresh ground beef? Not in the carbon dioxide packed shrink wrap in the stryofoam tray, but ground on the spot, wrapped in paper, or placed in a plastic bag? When I want ground lamb, I head up to Halal International Grocery- but it’s not really a butcher shop per se, with the white coats, and the side of beef hanging in the cooler.

How often do you buy bread baked on the premises? And get the option of slicing it yourself?

A lot of this still happens at Dot’s or Dorothy Lane Market- but, even those are a car ride away. What would it be like to have one in walking distance? Or a small cluster of stores? With locally grown produce?

Yes, our Kroger is disgusting, the parking lot almost guarantees cart damage, and you feel like you’ve been transported into the Jerry Springer show set- but, building a big new shiny Kroger won’t really make me that happy. DLM, Dots, or another business, run by locals, serving locals would make me happy.

And with the price of gas- not walking makes it worth paying a little more.

Now, only if we could have Graeff Hardware back.

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4 Responses

  1. Jeff June 29, 2008 / 4:41 pm
    ^
    there are time when you sound like Greg Hunter.

    Yeah, corner stores. I am probably one of the few here who actually grew up with no-shit corner stores…bakers, butcher shops, etc.

    Except the bakery got its rye bread from commercial bakers, who deliveed around Chicago, but not beyond. You could buy the bread sliced (by thes store, which had a bread slicing machine) or unsliced. They would do their own pastries and cookies, though.

    David, you do realize there was an entire commercial infrastructure behind your corner store…wholesale markets, produce terminals, cold storage warehouses, slaughterhouses, middlemen, transfer companys to haul ths stuff, and so forth. All this is gone.

  2. David Esrati June 29, 2008 / 4:51 pm

    Hi Jeff-
    I know a lot of the infrastructure is gone- but, Bakehouse in Troy manages to do bread. Dot’s can do meat- and we have the local farmers market for produce. The problem is we need expectations to change. You might not always have everything- but, what you get will be fresher and better (hopefully).
    Go to the West Side Market in Cleveland- it’s happening all the time.

  3. Gene June 30, 2008 / 2:49 am
    People like crap and Wal Mart, which may be the same thing. Get used to it.
  4. Drexel Dave June 30, 2008 / 6:17 am
    Wal-Mart will not survive European like gasoline prices.

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