lex, and a smattering of (ewww!!!) useful chain outlets that I am happy to frequent, including Borders, In n' Out burger, Kinko's, and Baja Fresh. Furthermore, Lopez' (and my) neighborhood of Silver Lake is a veritable advertisement for eccentric Mom & Pop businesses.

Still, we have to drive quite a ways (usually to Burbank or Pasadena) to enjoy a Target, or an Ikea, or a Barnes & Noble, or even a shopping mall. And the infuriating L.A. City Council wants to keep it that way -- forget about jobs, or sales-tax revenue, or the city's $180 million budget deficit: we need to crack down on Big Box retailers! Councilman Eric Garcetti, who represents much of our neighborhood (but not us), has introduced an ordinance "intended to slow the Wal-Mart expansion and protect neighborhood markets," according to the New York Times. That is the same Eric Garcetti, by the way, who sat on his hands when the city seized & destroyed the historic and wonderful Hollywood Star Lanes bowling alley (of Big Lebowski fame) to make way for a new public school.

Speaking of the Wal-Mart wars, here's an old Nick Gillespie article on the topic.

Posted by at November 2, 2003 02:10 PM

Well managed communities can survive the box stores. The mix of businesses may change -- some mom and pop stores won't survive, but in a well-managed community, new stores will take their place. And in the best run communities, what rises from the ashes will be better than what was replaced. My old community of Ocean Beach (San Diego) is a perfect example.

In my years of community reporting -- I've seen communities thrive after the coming of wal-mart, and other big-box retailers, and I've seen them decline. And the fate of the community is entirely in the hands of the community members and the local government agencies.

Up With Materialism! Up With Consumerism!

Posted by: Howard Owens at November 2, 2003 05:54 PM
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