Gentrification: Rich Vs Poor: A Contrasting Portrait

in gentrification •  9 months ago  (edited)

I just noticed that word editor sitting atop the posting block. I wondered how people could make different size fonts in their articles. Someone was just talking the other day about people being in tune with the environment around them. I admitted I had a problem in that department when I took notice one time that people I knew often noticed me before I noticed them. I usually get dragged out of my coma when something in the environment doesn't look right more so than right or, as in this case, helpful. That takes me back a few months when I went to use a bathroom at a gas station over on the other side of town once. It was pretty disgusting. I don't know what someone ate but it was stuck to the inside the bowl like glue. Made me wonder if someone forgot to flush and it dried onto the sides but there was no amount of flushing sending it to it's intended designation without the help of someone with a toilet brush. I made mention of it to the clerk when I came out as I am sort of funny that way about sitting on top of a dirty toilet even when I know my skin isn't going to come into contact with it. Sort of like this persistent fear I have of using a port a potty that's almost full, your afraid if you drop a big one down into it it will cause a back splash that splats your butt. The thought sends chills down your spine.

The other day I go into the same gas station and on the wall there was a printed message to those who don't flush or otherwise somehow manage to create a mess then leave it. The message read:

Photo08161516_2.jpg

Must have become quite the struggle to keep that toilet bowl clean they felt compelled to remind people to maintain some composure of dignity. That gas station is kept pretty clean, it's in a predominately good neighborhood even though it does have a trashy looking trailer park and a couple low income hotels near it. You usually don't see messes like you commonly see in the inner city. Like I mentioned in a post I did a few months back I have two Speedway gas stations about equal distance from where I live. The one in the post I did is located in a middle income neighborhood and is practically spotless, the other is in the opposite direction in a poor neighborhood and it's trashy. Many, many years ago I made the mistake of buying a fountain pop there and I'll never do it again. Yes since then they've torn it down and rebuilt it it's simply a matter of experience, mindset, experience rather than modernity.

Would you buy food or beverages from a place that looked like this...

Photo09051649.jpg

I actually put my arm right inside the window behind the register to take that picture, look how incredibly dirty that window is also. Here's another picture of the window by the door they go in and out of to get behind the enclosed area...

Photo09051650.jpg

Notice anything else other than the dirty window? The fact he's just standing there against the counter with guess what?....nothing better to do?...I wouldn't say so but hey I am not the boss. Since the bathrooms a few feet away I decide to take a gander at that.

Photo09051646.jpg

Photo09051647.jpg

Photo09051647_1.jpg

Nothing to see here folks, just a broken dispenser, paper on the floor around the toilet, trash can and dead bugs along the wall. Same with the outside, papers littered on the ground..

Photo09051651.jpg

Photo09051651_1.jpg

No problem though, whatever the wind doesn't blow away the lawn company can just mulch it up into the grass.

They could hardly not notice me taking pictures, you'd think they'd think you know maybe it's not a great idea to not utilize my time to the best of my ability and at the least wipe down my work area. It's not like more strenuous work like spraying window cleaner and have to extent my arms up and down cleaning windows or sweeping bugs off the bathroom floor. A week later and it was still looking exactly the same, unlike the local Dollar General store, at least after seeing me taking pictures they shut down for a day to clean. Though this store often works itself into looking this way again after complaining this manager I have to give some credence to as so far he hasn't quit...which is generally what happens.

Photo09032033_1.jpg

Photo09032033_2.jpg

Photo09032034.jpg

Photo09032034_1.jpg

Photo09032034_2.jpg

Photo09032035.jpg

Photo09032035_2.jpg

Photo09032035_3.jpg

Photo09032035_4.jpg

Photo09032036.jpg

Photo09032036_1.jpg

If you wanted anything out of this aisle today wouldn't be the day, that'd require an attempt another time...

Photo09281523_1.jpg
and the outside..

Photo09051700 (3).jpg

Photo09051659 (3).jpg

You can tell it's pretty much a wide spread mess. When I go in there he or the one girl I see working with him aren't standing around doing nothing, they just can't keep up. Of all the people I have seen come and go over the last couple months you learn to take it from experiences that it's what they are dealt to work with and the mindset of those people so it's no use in complaining as that just chases off the one's that seem willing to try and beat the odds. They always do end up leaving eventually, the odds are just to insurmountable. I've been in there and heard managers reaming employees for whole boxes of stuff coming up missing and one time when the whole back of the store smelled like marijuana...yeah, those employees weren't working. If you seen some of the customers they have to deal with you'd see why they become disheartened. They've tried everything, close circuit camera's, recorded warnings and even call checks to see if the clerks were alright. It's absolutely amazes me this store has managed to exist for the better part of ten years.

Going back to why the big disparity in people's mindsets I just have to look across the street from this store where a developer came in to build a supermarket with luxury apartments above it. Part of the deal was to include low income housing. In a tiny corner lot they are building a seventy unit low income housing complex with a sliver of that land allocated for a gas station. There was a gas station there before but it didn't include people living right on top of it. So for an affordably priced place to live people now have to be stacked on top of each in obviously limited space apartments, no yard, no cover over their balconies which when in use comes at the expense of inhaling gas vapors.

Photo09281546.jpg

This is where the gas station will go..

Photo09281546_1.jpg

This is alongside the complex..

Photo09051709.jpg

This is the back of the complex..

Photo09051709_1.jpg

This will be the front..

Photo09051709_2.jpg

This whole complex plus the gas station wouldn't equal a quarter of a normal block. If any of them have cars I don't know where they are going to park as the parking structure is reserved for those renting the luxury apartments. Of course the taxpayer footed the bill for this construction as it's subsidize they qualified for federal grants and loans. Most the developers won't go there as it fixes the amount of rental income to a federal rate scale dependent upon what the government is willing to pay.

Now let's see what the upper echelon got out of this, as of course that's where the money is so that was completed first.

Photo09301608_1.jpg

Aside from those three balconies in the corner there and the three ultra deluxe extra wide balconies on the very top right hand corner of the picture shown divided by wooden partitions all the balconies for the luxury apartments are covered or enclosed. Lets take a closer look...

Photo09301554_1.jpg

Photo09301551.jpg

If you look above the top of the golden area there you'll see they got a community center and balcony for what I suppose would be those times you have a few extra friends over and need a bit more space to host them. But that's not all, no, no, no...they just didn't get one extra large outdoor entertaining area but if you go around to the back there's another...

Photo09301601.jpg

Look straight on back, above that white patch, where the planter is full of nice lush greenery and if you look hard enough they even got a tree up there. Whoa. Fancy.

Now I know you are just waiting to know what could possibly come at the expense of low income families getting high on gas vapors sitting in apartments so small they could play footsies while seated across opposite sides of the room. Calm down, calm down, don't jump the horse, I am going to tell you.

Retail space for one.

Photo09301557.jpg

Most people have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads but city planners that would be retail space, lots and lots of retail space...

Photo09301600.jpg

Doesn't matter if it just sits there....

Photo09301602.jpg

With a market already over saturated with retail space...it just has to sound and look good, tons of apartments with retail space below and of course that one company whose already signed onto the deal. That one company just happen to come with what a land strapped gentrification downtown area needed: a grocery store, a real down to earth grocery store, not a over priced market place limited in it's scope, they already had one of those. Even though most said it was out of the desired area they really wanted one, (exclusivity is harder to maintain the farther into the hood you have to go) there simply wasn't an area left downtown large enough to host a full grocery store.

The funny part was that we already had a grocery store. Been there in different hands since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Located one block away from this proposed new store. Which obviously would be a hard sell to another retailer, one to more of their liking, one who wouldn't mind intimidating people from the hood not to shop there. It'd also be difficult to sell it to city planners as a much trotted need for the downtown area so miraculously the owner of the grocery store one block away saw his lease agreement double. Problem solved. I mean, it wasn't a bad grocery store if you shopped there during the day, at night you may have wanted to carry some pepper spray if pressed for a need to run down there after dark. But what had always been good for us was, well, you know, just not good enough for them.

They sold the idea it would be a limited option pick of similar items, with a just in time to stock shipping, no sales that would create advertising cost but would keep prices lower. Of course that's the way it started out but that's not the way it ended up being. If you wanted to shop there you couldn't be easily intimidated if you didn't meet the "gentrificated" guidelines of dress. You couldn't mind being followed like a hawk or swooped down upon at the all self service check outs that didn't weigh the product on the counter to be sure you scanned it before bagging and as time rolled on the prices just kept going up, up, up....I guess they figured if they couldn't get rid of them one way they'd get rid of them another.

Photo09071815_1.jpg

You can't argue the place sits in sharp contrast to the Dollar General Store on the other side of the street. The "new" poor man's grocery store.

Photo09071817.jpg

If you take kids with you there's no need for you to push a cart, though it can be challenge advising them that having kid size shopping carts weren't intended to see who can get to the end of the aisle quickest.

Photo09071825.jpg

Photo09071814.jpg

Photo09071820.jpg

Photo09071815_2.jpg

Photo09071824.jpg

It's definitely quite a change. With that change though come cost and the picture of that cost creeps ever so closely up into one's face. Many people have lost their dignity a long time ago, swept away by a governance that sold American jobs out to cheap foreign labor with those remaining offering substandard wages they claim they have to offer to compete. If that was the truth why are they getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer. Of the stark differences between these two grocery stores one is owned by a major local retailer whose stores are unionized, the other is a non unionized national chain of stores that doesn't have the representation to fight for livable wages and benefits. For the most part the reality is you get what you pay for.

It use to be the rich were separated by neighborhood boundaries, they lived there and the poor lived elsewhere. It's really daunting to say the least when they determine they are coming into ones space, tearing it down, offering you a sliver, subsidized by the government so they can reap riches and flaunt it in one's face.

This isn't the only example either. Here's another set of high priced rentals that sits to the east of this place..

Photo09301556.jpg

Notice they all have enclosed balconies with a large outdoor patio at one end to entertain guest.

While here is another low income subsidized housing going up about a block down the street, notice, once again, they get balconies that are not covered and it appears there will be fifteen apartments above "retail space" that is not needed, all fit into what use to be a small neighborhood restaurant and their old parking lot. The kids can just go mingle outside on the sidewalk with the drunks from any of the five bars located within half a block to keep themselves amused.

Photo09301607_1.jpg

Yet there is another to be built just slightly north of the low income housing across from the Dollar General Store, that one is trotted as a mix of "market rate" and low income housing with separate entrances. Yes we can't have anyone rubbing elbows with the poor.

I really wouldn't be surprised to one day find them doing this near what's left of the manufacturers. Building small quarters for the slaves paid for by government money taken from the taxpayers working for unsustainable wages at the behest of political donations from large corporations raking in billions from tax loopholes and a thirst for cheap labor. I wonder where ever do they get these ideas....did I mention that new grocery store doesn't stock China.

It comes as no surprise why people lose dignity in every situation.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

How much time did you spend on this post? Wow! lol

  ·  9 months ago (edited)

Actually part of it was a planned story from last year on the new grocery store before the hardfolk led to disappointment and discouragement. I already had the pictures ready to go just never did the story...which would have included bragging about the low prices and the means they were using to achieve them. Now over a year later there are higher prices and no sales just marked down reduced items. I think I had three stories on the back burner sitting there waiting for me to get reinvigorated. I still have one more to do yet where I'll use some pictures from last year and incorporate some from this year.

This story folded out after they had completed a pretty good chunk of the outside of the housing unit across the street from the DG store, I realized the stark differences and went on a journey of taking pictures over a two, three week span as I frequented the spots listed. Like once I noticed all the trash around the speedway outside the next time I went to DG I took pictures of theirs. One trip to the market would entail having to take pictures from all angles of the building to go with the story and the one's I had of the inside.

Then I put it all together over a weeks time working on it here or there on the steemit interface. You know you can do that right?....if you leave it it will be there right where you left it when you come back. With all the other interfaces you don't need to worry if you come up with another idea you'd like to do as you can use them instead. I don't know how much actual time it took as much of it was just done at my convenience when I had time to gather or write.

I can't say that all this gentrification hasn't helped my bottom line as it has, particularly that I own a duplex about a mile or little over there's about which has drastically increased the worth of my property. The part I am not really that thrilled about is the more they displace people closer to the gentrification area the more they push them my way. Sure there are many really old dumpy slum lord housing being torn apart and rehabilitated down there also it's coming to take quite some time for them to get to the ones around here. For a long time things around here were improving based just on the college kids where investors were buying up these homes after the crash and turning them into rentals for them, which removed a lot of the trouble spots.

For many years after I bought my house I use to say I lived on the border line, fifty thousand and up behind me to fifty thousand and down in front of me...(though I paid more than fifty thousand). Now I feel more like the college kids and I are more of a fortified defensive line while the offense continues from downtown. Though there is good people in that mix stuck in between there's also all the crack addicts and drunks, with crack comes violence, usually they also like me like to be up and about in the middle of the night so I just don't feel as safe deciding to take my dog for a walk at two a.m.. We have a crack house right around the corner, I feel story for the people who live downstairs from them who've been there way since before I bought my house. They are dirty, vile, scream, holler, argue and you often see them passed out sleeping in the morning on other people's property. It's sort of a isolated block as it's more like an island formed by the highway that went in years back than a whole block with just a couple two, three houses that sit there, theirs attached to an old pizza place that sits empty and next to that an old building used as a Spanish church. They are able because of it's location to peddle crack without much notice and will usually use the space in front of the old pizza place to make it look like they aren't dealing directly from their house. I've seen it a number of times young white kids pulling up there and them approaching their cars....there's only one reason for that. When they are all junked up and you hear screaming going on ain't nobody going to be walking their dog passed that taking a chance someone may actually have a weapon and start shooting. I've just had to much happen in my life to go by a "what are the chances" some weird unfortunate thing is going to happen, no I lost that confidence a long, long time ago. lol.

Congratulations @sunlit7! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You got more than 6500 replies. Your next target is to reach 6750 replies.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!