Friday, January 14, 2011

Empty Spaces

Don’t panic. The economy is fine. Everything is going well. no attention to the empty spaces. What spaces? ask. didn’t notice? I can understand that. Life being what it is distracts us from the little things and they go unnoticed as we hustle and bustle to our next appointment. 
The “rush” is on and if we’re not a part of it, then we’re not doing something right. I know this well...especially when I’m behind the wheel, but was a very different day. Today I actually slowed down when the little things finally jumped out at me and took my attention. I had always noticed it...but like a lingering dream, it hovered just outside my conscious view...until today.
Today the empty spaces screamed at me...and I couldn’t ignore them any longer. They begged to be noticed and thought about...pondered...and now reported on. As I made my way from Brighton to Hyde Park via Brookline, Jamaica Plain and Roslindale...they refused to be ignored. My usual lead foot became just a foot...and I took notice, for once, of what was right in front of me. I saw the sign...and it read “trouble”.
I noticed it when I entered Jamaica Plain and the whole corner of Huntington and South Huntington Ave read “Retail For Lease”...and just up from there the market was gone. The Pets Resort was gone on Centre Street...and Donna K Cleaners was gone on Hyde Park Ave. Further up, KFC had also went out of business. I’d like to stay politically correct here...but if chicken and french fries won’t sell, we’ve gone way past politics...and landed smack dab in economy.
It didn’t end there though. Even further up, Park Ave Lounge is gone as Cleary Square begins to look like a ghost town. Riverside Flower Shop, the Tuxedo Place, Capri Salon, Hyde Park Learning Center...the kids...the kids! Kings House Chinese Restaurant...really? Chinese food, the staple of late night cheap eats can’t do enough business to stay open after years of flourishing? Like I said in the beginning...don’t panic.
The economy is fine. Everything is going well...but I would advise you, wherever you may be, to take a measure of the empty spaces. Slow down and take note of what isn’t there. Pay attention to the signs because trouble begins with a void...and economic trouble screams to be the empty spaces.

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