The work day ended suddenly this afternoon when the power went out on our street. Some folks were doing some work and clipped the power line outside. I don't know about the Superstore across the street from my work, with all those lovely meats and cheeses going bad, but the metro deli, where I was at the time the power actually went out, probably ended up throwing things out.
I ended up going to Staples to get some reinforcements for looseleaf. I have been going through a pile of those little hole covers since I keep actual paper notes for most of my Frank work, in a big binder, and need to protect the sheets from just falling out.
After that, I drove downtown and was lucky enough to find a parking space. I went to Maritime Centre, where Patricia worked. She took a break and we met up at Dust Jacket Books and then wandered over to the foodcourt. That whole area will become a parking lot in the coming months. All the retail and food vendors will have to move upstairs, into a space that hasn't been configured just yet. They are spending a pile of money to bring the building into the 21st century. About time.
We chatted for a bit, and then I returned to DJ Books. I learned that the owner, Renee Lewis, succumbed to her pancreatic cancer in January. The store itself, her baby, is in a state of flux. In the next six weeks or so the family will make a decision.
If they shut the place down, they have to do something with the, what, 10 000 books or so in the joint, plus all the books Renee told me she had back at her home. Throwing the books into a huge number of recycling bags sounds like a lot of work. Maybe someone will buy the inventory and move the business.
If they keep the business going, or someone takes it over, there is the small matter of where to put the books. As I mentioned, they have to get out of there, along with the food court vendors, the hair place, the nail place, the lottery place, the convenience store, the flower shop, the Capitol Theatre display, and so on. The latter places apparently all have a place to go, are promised a spot in the building. But the bookstore is very likely SOL. And that big a pile of books needs to go some place that can accommodate that much stuff. At a reasonable rent. A tall order.
I bought two books there today. I got the receipt with their name at the top. I grabbed a bookmark from the place. I figure I will never set foot in there ever again. Sad.
Waited for Patricia in the car for a little while. She showed up just as the parking guys were hassling me to move the car. Apparently, between four and six pm, that section of Hollis Street becomes a tow away zone. They were getting ready to tow the car away that was parked in front of me. The one behind me was vulnerable as well. She got in the car and we scooted away.
I hate like hell parking, even navigating, in the downtown. Inconvenient. Construction is eating up many of the parking spaces. Bicycle lanes that nobody asked for take up many of the remaining spaces. The snow piles eat up many more. Is it any wonder why more and more businesses and companies are moving out of the downtown to the burbs or places like Burnside or Bayer's Lake? I don't miss working downtown, one little bit.
Nearly all of the new residential construction is geared toward people several strata beyond my price range. I am not bitter about that. I am just wondering how many people exist in that upper tier who would want to live in the downtown, given all the issues I just listed, and several I haven't?
When Patricia retires, whenever that is, she has told me several times that she would have far less reason to go downtown. I, even less than that.
I just realized something: This is the kind of blog post that Les Muise would have read and responded to in a comment. In his usual upbeat way, he'd chide me and tell me that the city will look so much better in five years once this work is done.
His funeral is tomorrow. Thinking about going. A friend told me tonight that he would know that I was thinking about him whether I went to the funeral or not. But I still think it is more respectful to go than not. I'm sure you know what I mean.
Pushing 11:30. Think I will turn in. See you tomorrow.