Yes, But What Goes Unsaid

I had a full and excel­lent week­end, full of superla­tives. I had sushi at Pacif­ic East because Kimo’s was closed for the Indian’s game, watched A Mur­der of Crows by Mac Well­man at The Lim­in­is and had a Pis­co Sour and Bour­bon Daisy at the VTR. A Mur­der of Crows [I’m prob­a­bly going to go see it again to make sure] may very well be my new favorite play. I didn’t real­ly have an old favorite play, but this one fit right up my alley. I got a sweet ‘bin­er clip with built-in flash­light at the VTR too.

On Sat­ur­day I grilled some kebabs from the WSM and made the most deli­cious pork chop I’ve ever had. Yes, a few weeks ago I said the same thing, but this chop was bet­ter. Heir­loom toma­toes and roast­ed corn on the cob com­plet­ed the meal. I also put­tered around Mar­ket Square and the City Xpres­sionz [God I hate typ­ing like I’m l33t] spray-paintathon.

Sun­day I did my laun­dry and went to see Thee Sil­ver Mt. Zion and BLKTYGR at the Grog Shop. Rafeeq & Co. put on the best show I’d seen from them and Thee Sil­ver Mt. Zion made me think about the meld­ing of pol­i­tics and art. How all too often art is used in the ser­vice of pol­i­tics instead of the oth­er way ’round. Thee Sil­ver does it the oth­er way ’round and the music def­i­nite­ly ben­e­fits from it.

I should also men­tion that I made my first [and hope­ful­ly last] vis­it to Crock­er Park over the week­end. That place is the flag­ship of Amer­i­can deca­dence and moral bank­rupt­cy. An enclosed sub­ur­ban “lifestyle cen­ter” [“mall” is too pro­le, appar­ent­ly] designed to look urban, com­plete with res­i­den­tial lofts above the big box­es, speak­ers vom­it­ing top-40 muzak from the ‘80s hid­den behind the care­ful land­scap­ing and the whole place made my skin crawl. Seri­ous­ly. Sub­ur­ban faux-urban loft apart­ments above a rich-per­son-only mall where you can buy a park­ing space so you don’t have to walk as far to the stores. I didn’t see one non-white per­son the entire time I was there. WASP city. The place made my skin fuck­ing crawl. More on Lit­tle Citadels.

13 Replies

  • While I agree that Crock­er Park is, indeed, a fucked-up place to shop — is it bet­ter or worse than the tra­dion­al mall that would have been built there oth­er­wise? Will you go back to Great North­ern, or will you just stick to the pse­du­do-elit­ist bou­tiques in Ohio City?

    And you didn’t see any non-white peo­ple because you were in West­lake. I grew up there — there was one black per­son in my grad­u­at­ing class.

  • Ok, well then I sup­pose the ques­tion becomes: What would you pre­fer? No Crock­er Parks, ok… what instead? A non-insu­lar and non-exclu­sive shop­ping envi­ron­ment? Wal-Mart comes to mind.

    And I think it’s more like: Why dri­ve a half-hour down­town to shop when there’s all the stores I need five min­utes away?

    And near­ly every one of the “exclu­sive” stores in Crock­er Park was once run by a “local entre­pre­neur,” and the tax dol­lars that are gen­er­at­ed by them cer­tain­ly ben­e­fit West­lake… most like­ly the school sys­tem.

    Just say­ing, is all.

  • I think it is worse because it is pre­tend­ing to be some­thing it isn’t. At least the Ohio City places [I don’t real­ly shop there either] are run by local entre­pre­neurs and shop­ping there ben­e­fits the local econ­o­my.

    A mall might be a shrine to con­sumerism and mate­ri­al­ism but CP and LV are frig­gin’ cathe­drals to it. They’re also so insu­lar and exclu­sive, by design, that they prob­a­bly do more to fos­ter will­ful blind­ness than you’d expect. Why go down­town to shop where you might see a home­less man, or a black man or get a whiff of Lake Erie or a sew­er when you can dri­ve 5 feet to get the “urban” expe­ri­ence you want to that makes you com­fort­able…

    Basi­cal­ly this is just anoth­er facet of my the­o­ry that peo­ple will do any­thing they can to make every­thing that is not pleas­ing to them some­one else’s prob­lem.

  • To reit­er­ate, CP and LV are sym­bols of what I see as a trou­bling ten­den­cy: the can­on­iza­tion of per­son­al com­fort and enti­tle­ment to the excep­tion of all else. It is self­ish and irre­spon­si­ble.

    CP doesn’t just appeal to con­sumers for con­ve­nience, its sell­ing point is that it is designed to make the peo­ple who can afford to live/shop there feel bet­ter about them­selves. It’s like a giant day­care.

    I’m not grous­ing about the mon­ey, I’m grous­ing about the envi­ron­ment that is cre­at­ed by places like that.

  • I’m just say­ing we need to learn to accept and live with­in the con­sumerist par­a­digm we live in, instead of “grous­ing” about it and not pro­vid­ing any alter­na­tives.

    And, as far as avoid­ing the unpleas­ant aspects of urban liv­ing, yeah — that’s fine by me. I see crack deals going down on my street every night, and hear gun­shots at least once a week. I could also do with­out get­ting hit up for change every time I go to the gas sta­tion to buy a six pack, and I’d real­ly enjoy being able to walk around my neigh­bor­hood alone at night. God for­bid peo­ple want to avoid feel­ing safe and com­fort­able where they shop, let alone where they live.

    It often seems as if you are judg­ing peo­ple for choos­ing to live in an area that is safe and com­fort­able, instead of in a won­der­ful­ly urban place like Tremont. Yet you com­plain about the crime in Tremont, which is what makes it so won­der­ful­ly urban…

    Per­haps I don’t make any sense.

  • Ok, but let’s say you get what you want — peo­ple doing some­thing about the crime, and then crime elim­i­nat­ed. Seems to me that would make Tremont an awful­ly more com­fort­able place for you to live and shop.

    Be care­ful how much “pos­i­tive change” you ask for, you might just get it.

  • damn, i was on the list for that blktygr/silver mt zion show but my ride bailed on me..

    BTW: its crack­er park!

  • I choose to live where I am and work for pos­i­tive change from the inside. I have lit­tle patience for peo­ple who would rather just walk on by and leave prob­lems for some­one else to fix. I don’t com­plain about the crime, I com­plain about the peo­ple not doing any­thing about it.

  • I would have loved to read your post, but I was too dis­tract­ed by the idea of a week­end full of superla­tives. What a fab­u­lous lit­tle bit of writ­ing that sen­tence is.

    I would fuck that one with Bea Arthur’s dick.

  • You have some real issues with Bea Arthur, PTB. Do you want to dis­cuss?

    Adam-your descrip­tion of Crock­er Park will make Sno­gAsh weep with Joy. Very nice.

  • I was at the SMZ show, as well–really enjoyed it. I can’t come up with anoth­er expla­na­tion as to why a shop­ping cen­ter would be designed the way CP was, oth­er than to make peo­ple feel good about what they’re doing. Enter­ing the place feels a bit like step­ping on to Main St., USA in Dis­ney World. To me, it comes across as a sleazy attempt to cov­er some­thing up. I don’t think there’s any­thing more to cov­er up then the tra­di­tion­al, bla­tant con­sumerist appeal. But the gaudy, tow­er­ing store­fronts do more to make me feel I’m being duped than being com­fort­ed.

Comments are closed.