Sunday, June 29, 2008

This morning in church, my prayer was simple. "Lord, keep my anger in check." Because there is no doubt that I am going to be angry (again) about what those greedy corporate scum are about to do to the Spectrum.

This time, it's bound to be even worse, because where January's article was at least partly speculation, this time it's apparently all over but the paperwork.

So you can all expect me to loathe the decision, which I do. Expect me to loathe the project that's going to cost us the Spectrum AND our minor-league hockey team, because I *surely* do.

And expect me to wish on said project every imaginable form of red tape, cost overruns, delays, missed deadlines, labor issues, and the sort of luck that accompanies a person who has simultaneously walked under a ladder, broken a mirror and spilled salt. Because frankly, that's precisely what I wish on this project that these greedy corporate vermin are shoving down our throats.

It's just what we need, in the midst of a recession and rising unemployment, while gas prices are at record highs and expected to go substantially higher: a LUXURY hotel surrounded by boutique chain stores and chain restaurants. Yeah, right. Give the area a hotel nobody can afford to stay in, surrounded by expensive stores no one can afford to shop in, and chain restaurants that they can eat in anywhere, any time. I'm sure people will fall all over each other for the chance to pay a $3 bridge toll (from NJ) and use gas to drive down here to spend a ton of money in expensive stores, when they could simply shop closer to home and save money and gas.

BTW, we can't even fill the bleeping hotel that we have in the area NOW, the one at 10th and Packer. We need another hotel, an expensive one yet, WHY? We have multiple shopping centers in South Philly already: Quartermaster Plaza and the group of stores immediately to its north (not sure of the name of that particular shopping area, if it even has one), Whitman Plaza, Snyder Plaza, and the bunch of chain stores and restaurants opening along the waterfront. We already have a zillion-screen jumbo theater at the Riverview, surrounded by a bunch of locations that SHOULD have restaurants and arcades in them... but most of those can't keep a tenant to save their lives. All of these centers of commerce have some prime empty spaces in them. We need another shopping center down here, one with exclusive stores yet, WHY?

Why is it that every average-joe and average-jane that I've spoken to about this Philly Live! travesty thinks it's going to go bust, but the zillionaires all want it? Oh, that's right, because the zillionaires are blinded by dollar signs and think they're about to fill their pockets with our money. They don't live here, don't know what it's LIKE to live here, don't know the people who live here, and can't imagine why we wouldn't be interested in their shiny new brainchild.

I'm sorry, but you can gild and polish BS all you want -- under the veneer, it's still going to be BS when all is said and done.

A hint to regular readers, particularly the ones I see face-to-face... any time there's a post labeled "Fargin' Bastages", if it contains a link, click it and read the article. The loss of the Spectrum and the Phantoms is an indescribably sore subject with me, and if I'm using a link to get my point across, it's because I can't abide writing directly about the topic any more than is absolutely necessary. But given the level of morale-buster that this is, on a personal level, there will be no frivolous posts, nor parts of posts, with this label.

I'm going to hit "post" and go back to feeling sick now. The more the reality of yesterday's article sinks in, that says there's no turning back this time, the worse it feels.

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