G.C.

Outside the old five-and-dime.

When I first moved to my neighborhood, the local five-and-dime G.C. Murphy & Co. had already fallen on hard times. It had balkanized into a village of smaller individual stores: a watch repairman, a tailor, a rug salesman, and so on. The merchandise was pretty low-rent.

But, it was a place of business, and sometimes it had just the thing—and at a good price, too.

Then it closed, as did the execrable Chinese restaurant next door. And the space has been shamefully vacant for more than a decade now. It’s a blight on the neighborhood.

Now, the retail spaces in the next block—Sullivan’s Art & Toy Store, the Kendall Collection, the pharmacy, the laundry, the hair salon—have all been evicted. Only the Starbucks and the Hot Yoga joint are hanging on.

There was supposed to be a big development project: a new Giant supermarket, mixed retail and housing. But nothing is happening and it’s dragging my once vibrant little neighborhood down. All the local amenities that made my location so convenient have dried up. And it’s just plain depressing walking past all those empty storefronts.


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