Shuttered storefront on Colorado, next to Tobacco Planet. I don't remember what it used to be.
recession: the decline in aggregate economic activity following the peak of a business-cycle expansion; officially defined as real GNP falling for two consecutive quarters. It is usually associated with rising unemployment of people and resources.
- Hughes & Cain, AMERICAN ECONOMIC HISTORY
The former site of Regeneration, the unlucky national face of hard times in Eagle Rock.
I recognize that, in doing these reviews, I often come off as a shameless Eagle Rock booster. And it's true: I have unbounded optimism for our neighborhood.
Still, the signs of economic distress, the very tangible effects of the Great Recession, are all around us. A closed storefront is startling at first, but then fades into the unnoticed landscape, and is forgotten.
The former site of Another World Comics, and planned site of Green Goddess, a proposed medical marijuana site that appears to have been scrapped.
I am posting these photos of closed storefronts throughout Eagle Rock at what I hope is the bottom of the downturn, our inverted Brenschluss point, where our downward trajectory flattens out and we begin an upward arc.
And if we are in fact at that bottom point of the cycle (n.b. here how much the theory of economic cycles has in common with the ancient image of the wheel of fortune), then these pictures are not solely images of decline and economic devastation -- though, make no mistake, each closed storefront represents a world of anxiety, fear, crushed hopes, loss of security. Recognizing the pain the owners of these closed businesses have endured and continue to endure, it is unavoidable that we also recognize that these images may also be seen as images of possibility and opportunity.
This appeared to be a former kitchen remodeling store on Eagle Rock Boulevard. The documents posted on the door are eviction notices.
I don't want to sound like I'm on the new Warren Buffet cartoon for kids, but it's true that it often makes financial sense to be fearful when others are greedy -- but greedy when others are fearful. (The other standard thing to note here is J.F.K.'s observation about the Chinese character for "crisis" contains the character for "opportunity" or something.)
The remaining shell of Blue Heeler Imports, a store that specialized in Australian imports. Nothing at all against Australia or its products, but this always seemed like a tough business proposition.
These spaces are currently available in Eagle Rock. These are empty spaces that will be filled with new ideas and new ventures. Perhaps someone reading this site right now has been nursing a fantastic idea for a small business in Eagle Rock. Now is the time.
Empty storefront on Colorado near Caspar.
But there I go again. Despite my opening attempts at getting back to objectivity, I've returned to my boosterism. I can't help it. Despite all of these depressing images, I do feel that better days are ahead.
Empty storefront in the Colorado Plaza mini-mall. I don't remember what the last business was in this space. I think a couple things have opened and closed in this space in the past few years.
The fire that consumes the forest often helps give rise to new growth.
Space for lease near Colorado Wine Company.
Former site of 808 Video, in the Colorado Plaza mini-mall. Most video stores' days are probably numbered.
Dead office building at Colorado and Hartwick.
The muffler place has not shut down (I thought it had, with the fence and the way it looked). It just looks like it's shut down.
Even the foundational, no-nonsense businesses in the neighborhood, like this tire place on Colorado and Glen Iris, have suffered.
This space used to house a music store. I remember walking in when I first moved to the neighborhood, asking if they had any tenor saxophones for sale. They didn't at the time, but asked if I wanted to order one. I thought about picking up a banjo there instead.
The former site of SW Hill Country, a store devoted to Western wear. This place was symptomatic of boom thinking, in my view. Only in an economy where people had more frothy disposable income from "endlessly" rising real estate and stock prices than they knew what to do with would a place like this even think it had a chance to survive.
Has this black-and-white building on Colorado next to 50/50 Grind ever been anything? It looks like it's abandoned.
I think someone tried to open up a bodega in this small little space on Colorado last year or the year before. It apparently didn't work out. This space looks like it would work as a taquería , maybe.
The scuba shop in Eagle Rock did not survive.
Store-sign palimpsest above Elvira's (very much still in business).
The Machu Picchu of the Bubble Times in Eagle Rock: the failed and abandoned condo development project near the entrance to the 134 -- a lasting monument to the boom mindset. As an aside, it's interesting how the gentle curve drawn by the the tall pillars holding up the hill suggests the sine curve of economic cycles.