a walk down memory lane

i cannot say for sure if this was the very first job i ever had, but i suspect it was. it now seems like a thousand years ago, but i worked at the Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors in my neighborhood known as The Meadows Shopping Center. As I write, my mind pictures when The Meadows was the place to be. The Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors sat in a little alcove. i walked to work on the days when i was scheduled although i think at the time i had a learners' permit and was around 15 years old.

So i can't help but wonder who i might have been had i stuck with the food service industry. i might have been supervisor one day and lead the community to ban together to save The Meadows.

These days, it is little more than a shadow of what used to be. The alcove is long gone; replaced several years ago with a now-defunct Cubs Foods Grocery Store. (I just remembered that there used to be a bowling alley behind the grocery story–wonder what happened to it?). The Cubs Foods Grocery Store lasted about 18 months before thieves forced it to close its doors, leaving the neighborhood with no grocery store in a greater than 5 mile radius. Then the building that used to house the grocery store underwent extensive renovation and reemerged as a charter school.

The other day, I heard that some rich developers had purchased several acres of land that used to be adjacent to The Meadows Shopping Center, called The Meadows (Apartments). These apartments also slipped into decline and urban blight over several years. Poverty and hopelessness, destruction and lawlessness forced the neighborhood to its knees. Now it is leveled to the ground. Another memory was visiting with friends in this apartment complex and feeling as if my life was in someone else's hands–hands that cradled a 22-gauge pistol in the other. Couldn't wait to get out of there when the visits were over. Anyway, these rich developers want to build condominiums and redevelope the merchandise-retail space. I wish them luck and I hope that the elements that overpowered the neighborhood before are gone for good.

The thing is, if these elements are no longer in The Meadows, where did they relocate to?

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