Saturday, February 02, 2008
Keith Phipps wrote a little post about the used book store he once frequented in Chicago. You can kinda see the bookstore's real name on a green sign hanging in the window, but the big sign above the door read 'town cleaners'. Really, I like the unofficial name: it ties a business to the neighborhood's history. Newer developments often do this as a way to hide the huge change made on the landscape -- the spot where Toys R Us and Office Depot in Fargo sits is called "Rabanus Plaza" -- because on that corner once sat a little farm house, occupied by the Rabanus family. Now, cozy and homey that corner ain't, all coated with pavement and dominated by an abandoned Krispy Creme franchise. This bookstore, however, at least gives people a way to identify where the bookstore is: "Remember where the town cleaners was? It's there." A bookstore deserves to be a part of the neighborhood; someday it might be remembered as, "remember that bookstore in the town cleaners building? That's where the sushi buffet is now."