Thursday, December 13, 2007
capitol hill is dying
Our city is being transformed, for the worst. Up on Capitol Hill, it is especially bad. The small businesses of the Pike/Pine corridor are being shuttered and torn down by greedy developers who want to replace them with architecturally bland condominium projects.
These new structures open uninspiring retail stores such as Walgreens, tanning salons, and Kinko’s - those who can afford the rent. These developers, who claim they are “cleaning up” Capitol Hill, are slowly killing life blood of the district. The independent stores, bars, and other businesses are hangouts for poor students, artists, musicians, and other creative types that compose the multicultural and diverse crowd that give the Pike/Pine neighborhood its flavor, its vibrancy, its party, its life – and it is slowly being destroyed.
Kincora, the Bus Stop, the short-lived but beloved Pony, Manray, all are gone, they were closed last month. They are destined to become another generic condominium project that will be inhabited by god-knows-who. The small businesses aren’t being invited back and are the victims of the cultural genocide that is being committed; this “cleansing” of the Hill is producing some pretty horrific results. Look at what happened to Broadway and the new Harvard Market. How hideous is the new Walgreens building? And what about that nasty brick building at the very north part of Broadway? Are these the glories of gentrification?
The new Cha Cha and Bimbo’s location, although nice, just doesn’t feel the same. And NOTHING can replace Pony, Kincora or the Bus Stop. I miss the cheap drinks and the loud music, but will especially miss seeing all the great people and all the good times that were had on that block.
Who are the developers targeting to buy the new condos? Obviously not the crowds who frequented the gritty-chicness of Pony. Eventually, the bohemian coolness that attracted the developers to the area will be gone. We should mourn the loss of small businesses and the part of Capitol Hill which has been murdered. Please observe a moment of grievous silence.
Last year’s article from the Stranger pretty much sums up how I feel:
The Death of Pike/Pine, from 29 November 2006