Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Like An ATM For Lowlives*

A few years back, they put in a Starbucks at College Ave. and Fall Creek Parkway. It's a hardscrabble kind of neighborhood, caught between gentrification a couple blocks South side of Fall Creek and the slow, inexorable growth of Broad Ripple (Actually, SoBro, the Southern boundary of Broad Ripple being either Kessler or 54th St., depending on who you ask).

Fine, fine, there was a lot of blather about revitalization, nobody forced Starbucks to open up at that location, there's plenty of traffic and it's got a drive-through so commuting yuppies can feel all nice about helpin' the poooor without having to so much as set foot on the ground. Good for them and no bother to me, since I won't drink Starbucks brew. (I drink coffee, not bizarre concoctions frothed up in a machine, flavored with heaven-only-knows and served hot enough to parboil a mouse).

As inevitably happens when you go to a tough neighborhood and put up a nice shiny whatever patronized by yuppies and other outsiders, the place got robbed last night. Local television news is expressing great outrage of the "how dare they" sort, cloaked in a thin veil of suburban we-tried-to-help-them amazement.

...Grow up, vid-kids. Most of the people in that neighborhood are nice, law-abiding folks; perhaps reticent with outsiders but having lived in like areas, I know it's not without reason: the suit'n'tie on a Lexus is like as not to be shoppin' for dope or what is politely referred to (listen up, politicians) as a "date," quotes and all.

Most people everywhere are good and decent. And some are not. When a nice, shiny business shows up amidst the downtrodden, not everyone there will react to the opportunity thus offered in quite the same way; not everyone will welcome it with open arms and some few will look on it in the same manner that a small boy looks at a cookie jar. And with the same end result.

What's surprising is that this surprises anyone.

Update:
Thanks for linky-love! ...Seems a blog about "neighborliness" (as defined, established and policed by large committees in our metropoli, well-known havens of the open hand, friendly smile and cheerful lending of a cup'a sugar) has cited the media coverage as an example of reactionary badness. Initially I took umbrage, thinkin' my (snarky) take was being looked down upon; the blog's owner says au contraire, 'twas not the case. Okay; thanks for taking the time to explain.
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* Tam's title. I offered to not use it but she threatened to cry have the cats throttle me in my sleep. Gonna hafta get her to take her own temperature -- I fear she's come over all altruistic or somethin'.

9 comments:

Old NFO said...

great outrage of the "how dare they" sort... /snicker/ What the hell do they think is going to happen? That is a target rich environment for the low-lifes, who sure as hell didn't move out just because starbucks showed up...

Better idea might be issuing .45s to the crew so they can protect themselves.

Turk Turon said...

Eleven years ago the Starbucks in Georgetown was robbed:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/march99/affidavit18.htm

I use the term "robbed" here but the cops said that no money was missing. Nevertheless the perp killed all three employees.

Absolutely! Arm the barristas. They'd get my business.

Rob K said...

Pullins said he is a frequent customer of the Starbucks. He stopped there Monday for coffee and a copy of the New York Times after attending the opening of a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign office at 442 N. Pennsylvania St.

Would you like some cream with that instant karma?

the pawnbroker said...

"lowlives"...i like it...and used here perfectly in context, i might add...

and not redundant either..."to the lowlifes of the street living their lowlives on the street, the starbucks looked like an atm ripe for withdrawals"...cool new word...

jtc

Ahab said...

I've gotten coffee from that Starbucks, and I've done it while wearing a suit-n-tie and driving a Lexus.

But hey, I'm not surprised that someone knocked the place over, I always thought it was a weird location for a Starbucks.

Matt G said...

You and Tamara *could* take to picking up a cup of their milder roast drip coffees, black.

You know, like trolling through chummed waters.

Roberta X said...

It's a thought, Matt; but it's always better if neigbors take care of their own neighborhood.

Ahab said...

Besides, Broad Ripple has enough problems of its own, admittedly though they're usually of "annoying drunk/dirty hippy" variety.

Roberta X said...

Amen, Ahab. In fourteen years at my old place, much closer to Beautiful Downtown Broadripple, I had three drunks stop by -- one door-kicking young lady who was sure she was at her (recently ex?) boyfriend's apartment; one quietly, insistently, sadly inebriated attorney who sat down on our porch and could not remember where she lived; and one plain old won't-go-away, sure-I-live-here drunk who thought I was just mean to not let her in.

...And people wonder why I will only just barely drink...! It's not a crime to be that lost (IMO) but it's no way I wanna be.