When I first moved to my neighborhood, I knew it was something on the edgier side of “up-and-coming”, more like “slowly approaching” or “looking upwards, sometimes.” But I figured with the next town over turning around so quickly, it was just a matter of time that mine would, too. A lot of time.
I could blame the busted housing bubble, the foreclosure free-for-all, and the recession. Or I could blame myself for thinking that proximity to gentrification automatically means you’re next in line.
I’m now thinking that sometimes it means that you just have a good view.
I had originally thought it might be ready for a rebound when I saw a couple of regrettable business ventures close up shop. I mean, did we really need another flea-market store? These aren’t even dollar stores. Those have vendors, inventory, sales. No, these are like consignment stores filled with the crap that’s typically found for sale on blankets on the sidewalk in New York. One man’s trash is, well, just crap.
Beside the indoor yard sales, what we have a lot of are fast food restaurants. There are few fast food chains that aren’t represented within my ten-block radius, and I have to examine of the lower rungs of the fast food ladder to find them – like Arby’s or Long John Silver’s.
The “nicer” restaurants near me are just lukewarm buffets among folding tables and chairs. It’s barely a step up from McDonald’s. The former might offer chairs you can move; but the latter actually offers better atmosphere.
So with my neighborhood offering all of this, you might understand why I got a little excited when I saw that a new restaurant was going in. I anxiously awaited the opening like some people might look forward to lottery numbers being announced. And like most of them, I was a loser.
When the new restaurant finally opened, I only needed to see the huge, permanent sign that read “___ Chinese and Mixcan Restaurant” to know this was no symbol of change. I’m omitting the first part of the name because 1) you can pretty much guess it will include the words “lucky” or “happy” in it, and 2) how could that possibly matter next to “Mixcan”?
I’m not even sure it wasn’t intentional. I mean, maybe they really are serving mixed canned food, and this is just a cute colloquialism for it. I really wouldn’t know. What I do know is that this doesn’t bode well for my neighborhood coming up … it’s more like it’s going down.