Friday, August 10, 2007

Just Another Little Group Of Colorful Shops

They're everywhere that roads have traffic. Years ago every three or four blocks was the corner store, or perhaps a cluster of three or four of them, within easy walking distance. You could exist without an automobile. The big chains had yet to take over the retail world and towns had downtowns rather than suburban malls.

Every shop used to have its unique flavor, every building its individual look. The big malls want uniformity, all the shops to look alike, with the same style lettering for the signs above the windows and all the exterior walls painted the same color.

A couple of years ago somebody got the brilliant idea that the way to revitalize North Miami's downtown shopping district was to come up with the money to help the landlords redo all the facades and signs, to make the shopping district one color and one style, and the lettering with the shop names would all be one size, one color, and one style. The project is about completed now. It looks nice, it looks clean and it looks extremely boring. I don't think that it's helped increase business at all. Maybe it's time to rethink things, fill the business district with brightly painted buildings and neon signs. Make it exciting again! After all, if people wanted the mall experience they would have gone to the mall.

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