Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I'm going to take a minor break today from my music and food blogging to bring you an article from Cool Cleveland that I found particularly disturbing:
Steel mill becomes big-box retail?
First Interstate Properties, who operate the Avon Commons shopping center in Avon, are proposing a $90 million deal to purchase the huge idle 127-acre steel mill by the Jennings Freeway (Rt. 127) from International Steel Group and convert it into "Cleveland Steelyard Commons," with as many as 15 big-box retailers ranging in size from 20K to 150K square feet for stores like Staples and Home Depot. Mayor Campbell is meeting with the developer this week in Las Vegas at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention.

As someone who lives just a hop from the steel mills, I know just as well as anyone that the area, as it is now, frankly, looks like the seventh level of hell (Buffalo is the eighth). Buuut, as much as I hate the steel mills, at least they have character, at least, good or bad, they say *something* about Cleveland which makes it different. Now, if you haven't gotten it from my previous posts, I am pretty adamantly against big box stores. Occasionally, yes, I see them as a necessary evil, but the general homogenization of the United States through these stores frustrates me to no end. About a year ago, I took a business trip to Eagan, Minnesota. Though a small plane ride and many hundreds of miles away from home, stepping out of my hotel room, nobody would be able to tell the difference. I could be in North Olmsted, I could be anywhere in the suburban United States. It didn't matter where I was, because it all looked the damn same. I know some people feel some safety in this. They like to know they can find a forest green waste basket anywhere they go. They like to know that their Big Mac in Oregon will taste the same as their Big Mac in Indiana. But, I am not one of those people. When I step out of a plane/train/automobile, I want to know where I am and I want it to be different from where I was.

I'm not going to even get into how I think these stores are like massive temples to constant consumption, I've already strayed too much from my normal food talk.

Well, to make this all somewhat related to my normal posts: I made a sweet potato and bean soup with caramelized onions last night, turned out f'in awesome :) Of course, I didn't write I was doing down at all, so I have no recipe to make it again...