Friday, September 29, 2006

The Whiner

I really don't know why I continue to torment myself each week by reading The Wire, Portsmouth's "alternative", groovier-than-thou, free arts and music scene rag. Every week there's some opinion piece in there that makes me want to say "Stop whining already!" There's usually at least one reference per issue ever-still mourning the late, great and endlessly hyped Elvis Room, which I think was long out of business before The Wire ever came along. (And no, although I am of the generation, I never went to the Elvis Room. I was living in Japan or Hawaii then.) Anyway, it's long gone. Get over it already.
This week there were two articles bemoaning Cafe Killim's move to Islington St. Why bitch about it? Yes, the market for downtown real estate is hot. Did you like it better back in the late 70s and early 80s when the whole place was dead and everyone was out at the Newington Mall? Why are they complaining about Popovers on the Square as if it were some big corporate tentacle? It's owned by the guy who owns the Galley Hatch in Hampton. It's another local business. Is it too pretty for their "alternative" tastes?
They were all chicken little-y when the Muddy River changed hands and the live downstairs music stopped for a couple of weeks while the new owners decided what they wanted to do. Oh! It was "the end of an era" for live music in downtown Portsmouth. For a couple of weeks anyway until the new owners reopened and renamed the room and started featuring a much wider selection of music and bands.
The Wire bitched about The Friendly Toast being offered the option of buying their location. (Oh no! Don't give them a chance to build equity when they could just pay rent endlessly instead!!) Another sign of Big Bad Business in their eyes. The Friendly Toast did not spring fully hatched at that location. The Friendly Toast started out in Dover and I think they were in Kittery for a while after that before they moved to Portmouth.
The paper seems so reactionary to every change that happens in downtown Portstmouth. I wonder if they have a clue about what's going to happen with the McIntyre Federal Building on Daniel Street. That the whole thing will be torn down and the 2.2 acre lot redeveloped, with the federal offices moving out to Pease. But all that talk happened back in 2003, before The Wire's time. I'm betting that won't stop them from whining about it.


Bob said...

Hi Pam!

Please, Drop me an email when you get a chance. Nothing serious, but I don't want to tell you in your blog. :)

Heidi said...

i still miss The Toucan. :)

Pam said...

Ahhhh! The Toucan!!!
I always thought the little toucan they had in there looked so sad.

Anonymous said...

Same sentiment exists here on the Left Coast, in BC, Canada. It's easier to destroy than it is to build. All of my former uni friends mistake me for a capitalist, but, as you implied, building equity does not always equate conformity with the existing socio-economic order

dangergirlnh said...

I used to work at the Toucan! BTW..anonymous...having an option to buy is sometimes a wonderful opportunity, most definitely in this unprecedented socio-economic order we live in here, now. way left man..way left.

YouWho said...

I missed this when you originally posted it... but AMEN! Communities/cities either grow or decline, they don't stay the same. We should be thankful Portsmouth is in a period of growth. Whether they realize it or not, the economic development makes a hipster rag like The Wire possible.

And for those that decry landlords who maximize their rents and push out places like Cafe Killim: I wonder if the last time they were offered a raise they turned it down?