Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gentrification's Outer Ring.

We have paused at the Neighbor's Store at 1740 East Montague Avenue in North Charleston, S.C., to gauge the outermost concentric ring of regentrification, the epicenter of which isolated between Virginia and Spruill Avenues. That's quite a few blocks east of here. They call that section the "Olde Business District", but we'll use O.B.D.

We fear that the superfluous "e," a misdemeanor of affectation, may come back to bite the upwardly mobile in the rear in the near future. As they consolidate their place in the brave new world of North Charleston, they will certainly eschew middle brow suburban trappings as surely as the blue collar past will be swept under Oriental rugs. " Olde " is the misdemeanor which invariably leads to the felonious "Pointe" with which many a subdivision is tagged. It simply won't do. It won't do at all.

The O.B.D. has been careful to nurture old buildings into new and acceptable uses. They wisely wish to avoid the complete makeover which kills the local soul. Where then will Neighbor's Store fit into the plan? We note that groceries and candy replace beer and ice on typical convenience store front promotions. It's still a dicey neighborhood, but we found a kind and courteous lady within. Frankly, most such places run us off once we pull out the camera, but the lady wished us well and spoke favorably of the Mustang.

We like it and we hope that there's a place at the table for Neighbor's Store when regentrification is completed.