Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I Hate Everything

My hometown of Phoenixville, PA has seen a ton of economic growth in the past five years or so, mostly unsurprising and inevitable for a suburb outside of Philadelphia. Some of it's been bad, as in the strip malls which are popping up left and right, and some good -- as in the historic downtown area seeing a complete restoration and resurgence.

However, the fate of two landmarks: the Vale-Rio diner and the historic Fountain Inn, have been hanging in the balance for some time now. There were rumors the properties were going to be sold to developers, protests and town meetings to address such rumors, zoning issues, etc. But it looks like the diner and bar/restaurant are finally closing their doors to make way for a -- wait for it -- Starfucks and Walgreens.

Although I don't live in Phoenixville anymore the Fountain Inn (a.k.a the Lazy Dog Saloon) is my favorite watering hole when I go back to visit friends. They fill your wine all the way to the top of the oversized wine glass and it costs like three dollars. (And sometimes if you're really lucky, there'll even be a dead body in the parking lot!) Not to mention the diner which was a staple growing up, and also featured in the camp horror movie The Blob.

The whole thing just makes me really sad. And frustrated. And powerless. The diner, especially, is kind of like the heart of the town, and means so much to so many. The level of greed and callousness is just mind boggling. And this is exactly why I live out in the country, and plan on moving further out if development warrants.

Bleh. Sorry for the depressing post. I promise, more funny next time.

17 comments:

Alex the Odd said...

Boo, hiss!

I feel your pain Ms. Salty I honestly do. I originally come from a really rural area and a few years ago some marketing genius realised that they could pursuade "city types" to drive out to the countryside and make money out of them on Sunday lunchtimes. All out cute little family owned pubs with funky home cooking (that served us at the age of 14) are being taken over by chains. So now I go home for the weekend and walk into a carbon copy of the pub just down the road from me in the middle of London.

*fume*

Ranylt said...

Weep. So sorry to hear that, Litely. That stuff really gets to me, too.

Homogenization is the devil.

I also live in a rural spot, because, outside of downtown cores in most Canadian cities, there is no longer any such thing as actual architecture (seriously; drive through a suburb and tell me what's missing...DING!) And as much as I love downtown, my misanthropy finally demanded I get away from other people.

That said, the rural village I grew up in (just 25 minutes from downtown Ottawa, on the Quebec side) is exploding--traffic did not exist there even 8 years ago. And some fuckwad built a Subway on the highway a little too close for comfort. When my husband and I decided to buy out here last year, we bought quite a bit further down the road. In case. So far, all I see out my study window are deer...but this can't last.

Chez said...

Wish I could empathize. I come from Miami, where nothing was ever more than about 60 years old to begin with and has now been paved over, shit on top of shit, about a dozen times.

You don't get too attached to anything, because it won't be around long. On the other hand, every morning it's like waking up in a whole new city. Good times.

Anonymous said...

That sucks! I grew up in Phoenixville too. Who needs another Starbucks or Walgreens?!

Melina said...

that sucks! My very first teenage drinking experience ended with me puking in their bathroom...I'm sure they were happy to see me go :) But I'm going to miss that place!

Anney E. J. Ryan said...

we wrote letters. we bitched. we complained. nothing worked. i spent some quality time writing in the vale over xmas, and it only made me angrier. the food, in my opinion, is so much better than stupid iron hill and maggie mcguire's. the coffee is better. the people are better. everything about the vale is better than starbucks. and it's closing. thanks capitalism!

Anney E. J. Ryan said...

we wrote letters. we bitched. we complained. nothing worked. i spent some quality time writing in the vale over xmas, and it only made me angrier. the food, in my opinion, is so much better than stupid iron hill and maggie mcguire's. the coffee is better. the people are better. everything about the vale is better than starbucks. and it's closing. thanks capitalism!

Joey said...

What Anney said...meetings were attended, letters were emailed, testimonials were taken...I am doing my part by NEVER EEEVVER shopping a Walgreens as long as I live. They'll never get a nickel from me...it's all unbelievably sad, even though it's been building to this for the past 2 years...

jen310 said...

If it makes you feel any better, I just read a headline that says Starbucks has to close a hundred stores because of declining profits. Hopefully it will spell doom for the one coming to your part of the world.
As for Walgreens, there are 20 within a five mile radius of my home. Those fuckers can't be stopped. They are the cockroaches of drugstore chains.

fenchurch said...

So sorry to hear that! I swore off the Walgreens back in 2000 after they bought up and tore down the amazingly fantastic tiki bar/restaurant The Kahiki in Columbus, Ohio. It rained in the bar! They served drinks named The Skullcrusher (in skull mugs)!

http://www.critiki.com/cgi-bin/location.cgi?loc_id=33

Now it is overpriced antacid medicine and sunscreen. Everywhere you go now, everything looks the same...

MEECH! said...

Oh my freaking god, I'm sorry. God, I HAAAATE those stores, I HATE them!

gospelaccordingtoprisco said...

I grew up in Quakertown. So yeah, I can commiserate. It's basically one massive strip mall whore, sprawled out across the crotch of Routes 309, 663 and 313, desperately jiggling her fetid neon wares with the hopes that she'll end up on one of those late night HBO hooker documentaries. Our diner of choice, John's Plain and Fancy, looks like a 50's era spaceship, and I think if they were to uproot it, a geyser of blood ala Army of Darkness would spray from the soil, and Quakershizzle would be overrun by Deadites.

Dr Zibbs said...

I hear you with the Starbucks. A Starbucks will be opening in West Chester shortly. Right on the corner of High and Gay.

Dr Zibbs said...

I hear you with the Starbucks. A Starbucks will be opening in West Chester shortly. Right on the corner of High and Gay.

Anonymous said...

Just in case you missed the Move

http://www.tmarkfink.com/Vale-Rio_Diner/Vale-Rio-Diner.html

Anonymous said...

who gives a shit

Anonymous said...

More Phoenixville Pictures

Reeves Park http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pGgY9yzmxE



Gay Street Bridge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbJIuxoY_C0