Monday, October 20, 2008

The Mall Killed holyoke

Everyone is talking lately about bringing big business to Holyoke. I get the thought behind this, tax revenue, lower crime, safer streets, more jobs but I like to think I am looking at a bigger more long term picture.

A Wal Mart in Holyoke will cause pollution, trash, litter, poverty, traffic, strain our hospital and any number of other small trickle down effects. BMaverick is snorting so hard right now he just inhaled his moustache.

I do understand what Wal Mart would bring as well.. more jobs, competitive grocery prices, convenience. I just happen to think it’s worth it, to me, to drive to Big y, BJ’s, Price Rite and even Trader Joes if it means I feel better about my purchases.

Every dollar you, as a person, as a voter, as an American spend.. is a vote. Every single dollar is a vote. Think about that. If you buy flip flops made in china by pre teens who can only pee once a day and eat nothing but rice while working with toxic chemicals that cause burns and rashes.. you are essentially saying to that 12 year old girl that you don’t give a flying fuck abut how she was ripped from her family, half starved, abused and hit.. you just want cheap flip flops you didn’t have to drive more then 4 miles for. And maybe that’s ok for you. I can really understand that. Not everyone has an overdeveloped sense of empathy. Not everyone should.

But it matters to me. If I want cheap flip flops, I will by them second hand, because then my buck, or by then only 25 cents, goes to support something I believe in like the Salvation Army or some Joe the Plumbers tag sale or Big brothers and Big Sisters.

I do not really know if it is possible but wouldn’t it be nice to see downtown go the way NoHo has? Small independant shops, people WANTING to come there. I like spending an afternoon lazily poking around Main St in Northampton. We grab lunch at Bueno Y Sano or Sushi at Soo-ra, Ice Cream at Harrell’s and pick up some groceries at Cornucopia I can’t get at S&S or Big Y.

I take my kids to downtown Holyoke now and then.. I do not want them growing up in fear of their own city. We use our heads.. lock up the car, don’t leave things in plain site etc. I try to shop there.. but it’s just cruddy that nothing is really.. there. We use Chips to fix our car, even though he has no weekend hours and once got hair cuts down there but never will again because no one spoke English and they really butchered my oldest sons’ hair. He wore a hat every day for a month.

Lowes alone will not “Save Holyoke” So tell me.. what will?


VanDog said...

Bueno Y Sano in Holyoke would be awesome!

btw: I advise against hotlinking photos like that one. It could disappear from it's native server anytime. Save the image to your computer, and upload it to blogger as your own.

Reducing in HM said...

Mmm I want the garlic spinach thingamajig now. I have never seen so much food , good food! for reasonable prices!

And you are right about the hotlinking but I post from work and I don't want to clog up my server. When pics poof I replace them. Sometimes. If I notice.

I bet a BYS would actually do a good business downtown. I think I might write to them, it can't hurt to mention it anyway.

Jeffrey Byrnes said...

So I heard that there is a rumor of a Lowells coming to Holyoke. I hope this is not the case. The same goes for a Walmart. It would be down right ridiculous if they ever put a Walmart in Holyoke. The Walmart here in Chicopee has been nothing but a true nightmare. I support the smaller business and the ideas I have been hearing about in the revitalization of the down town area. Down town is an area that I am very much willing to be a part of.


VanDog said...

A bit more than rumors.

Reducing in HM said...

Hi Jeff.. The Lowes is apparently all set. I am reconciled with it, mostly because it is staying near the mall.

It's so hard to watch our downtown fade like it has been. There are so many talented and well intentioned people who want better for it.

I lived my teen years in Chicopee and I think the loss of the Fairfield mall for a freaking Walmart is the height of disgusting. I miss that mall, alot. I worked at Friendlys for 3 years, did one christmas season at the record store in there and then Managed Cotes Cafe for a year. Oh and I worked at the Ocean State Job lot in my early 20's. I banked at the baybank and nearly joined the National Guard when they had a recruiter in the mall. My dentist was in the mall and I renewed my first license there.

What memories will anyone ever fondly recall about a Walmart, a dollar store and Home Depot?

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