Saturday, September 29, 2007

Day 242

One of the many Third-World problems with living in New Orleans is the lack of a substantial bookstore. We have one or two small independents in town. The Borders and Barnes & Noble are in Metairie or across the river. Therefore, you have to have at least an hour free to go get a book. And the only place in Orleans Parish that you can get the New Yorker is at Whole Foods.

Today, I need a computer book for Microsoft Publisher. You cannot purchase this in the City of New Orleans.

This problem, of no real retail areas also means our city bleeds sales tax revenue to Jefferson Parish. It was announced yesterday that Macy's is opening two stores. One in Kenner, the other in Metairie. The business/retail communities have no real desire to invest in New Orleans. One reason is that they have to deal with citizern backlash against big box stores and the bohemians who hate corporations. The Anti-Starbucks factor. Then there is the fact that the pool of employees in the inner city for these jobs are scarce, unreliable, ignorant and too rough around the edges to sustain a retail business in the city of New Orleans.

The bulk of our street level shopping in New Orleans consists of; laundromats, ghetto car washes, corner stores which sell liquor, fast food outlets, check cashing businesses and Urban Wear clothing stores, tax preparation chains a disproportionate amount of African American nail outlets/beauty supply.

Some people try to spend money in Orleans Parish, you know, buy local. Well, I am actually doing my best not to spend money in the city whenever possible as a sort of boycott.

I will be battling traffic in the burbs after work today to get a book for a project for a neighborhood association . . . in other words, propping up unsustainable communities . . . Not only do I not get paid, it costs me money. This is one of the last things I am doing before I leave to live to move somewhere that is already self-sustaining rather than self-destructing.

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