Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Blight Comes to Greenwich Avenue

Greenwich Avenue is getting uglier by the day, it seems. Today your scribe noticed that 353 Greenwich Avenue, the former home of the popular Bon Ton Fish Market, is all boarded up with a bright red STOP WORK order nailed on the front. Somebody somewhere has goofed, it seems. Empty storefronts - of which there are many downtown - are not very attractive, but boarded-up ones with stern legal notices are downright gross. Once again, your scribe's tongue-in-cheek prediction that Greenwich Avenue may turn into a ghost town seems to be becoming an ever more likely possibility.

What a pity that greedy landlords have forced so many stores out of business over the past year or so! Now, of course, many of them are lowering their once-obscene demands, but the damage has been done. Not even in the Great Depression, one suspects, have there ever been so many empty storefronts on Greenwich Avenue.

And the downward trend seems poised to continue. As your scribe watched in astonishment, the one apparent remaining employee at Baccarat locked the front door at 1:10 PM, smack dab in the middle of the shopping day, and headed down the Avenue on some mission of her own. Now, we all know that no one shops there anymore, if they ever did; but what kind of message does the locked door send to potential browsers? "We don't want your business," the locked door seems to say. "Go away and stay away."

Well, it seems unlikely that Baccarat will be around in this Town for much longer. Your scribe would place a modest bet that the store has been hemorrhaging money for years, so maybe it makes sense just to lock the doors and stop throwing good money after bad.

Further up the street, your scribe was surprised to see Greenwich Avenue's first flashing neon sign advertising a massage parlor. Red, green, blue, and orange neon, to be precise - rather pretty, actually, but perhaps more suited to the Las Vegas Strip than once-tony Greenwich Avenue. And if you are curious, dear reader, about the parlor's rates, they are spelled out in handsome red duct tape: $55 for 60 minutes.

How much seedier will Greenwich Avenue get before the deterioration comes to an end - if, in fact, it ever does? At the moment, the trend is far from hopeful. Stay tuned.


Blogger Malicious Intent said...

The damage is done. Now they must lay in their beds. If there is ever to be a recovery there, it will take years if not decades or some really rich sod throwing tons of money at it.

July 24, 2009 7:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Hi, MI! Curiously enough, a day after I blogged about the blight at the former Lobster Bin, the Stop Work/Unfit for Human Habitation notices have been removed. Let's hear it for the power of the blog!

July 25, 2009 9:21 AM  

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