Monday, January 30, 2017

It's amazon, how things have changed

Where the airpark USED to be
When people familiar with that portion of the I-95 superslab that passes through our county would ask me where we live, I could tell them, in the old days, that we were close to that crazy local airport.  You'd be coming up or down 95 with an 18-wheeler and a bread truck on either side of you, and some yahoo riding a crotchrocket behind you, and all of a sudden, here would come a Beechcraft Bonanza or a Cessna Crash'em coming across your bow for a landing.  Thrills at 70 mph back then, but then the operators of the airstrip figured they turn those acres into many many dollars, and now there are many many houses there.  

I always wonder though, if there might be some old pilot who hasn't been around here for thirty years or so, who might just come in for a really surprising landing one day?  

And that's not even what I want to talk about today.  Just a hoot and a holler down the highway from that spot is another empty lot where there were plans to build a 100-store outlet mall. Oh, it was a big, big deal.  The regular mall around the corner - White Marsh Mall - with the Sears and the Boscovs and the food court and 17 shoe stores - fought it hard, took it to a referendum, and before that even came to the voters for approval, it was all OK'd. So now, three months later, comes word that the whole thing might be forgotten.

According to the Baltimore SUN, "The Lightstone Group, the developer's New York-based parent company, said it is considering selling the site after receiving 'several unsolicited inquiries.' "
"We are considering all of our options moving forward, as we continue our predevelopment activity," the firm said in a statement supplied by an outside public relations firm. "We appreciate all the support we have received from the Baltimore community."

The county councilwoman who represents that part of the county is a great woman, whose name is Cathy Bevins.  I knew her from her stellar work in the county executive's office when I was still a county employee, and she is the one who spearheaded the project through the planning and zoning process, including working out the stormwater runoffs and having the developer pay for an exit ramp off the highway to bring business to the outlets.  Ms Bevins told the newspaper she doesn't think the project is dead in the water, and for the sake of economic development, we can all hope for 100 new stores to open someday not too long from now.

But - shortly after Christmas, I decided to get a couple of fleece vests (perfect for those days when a sweatshirt isn't totally enough but you don't need a parka!), and a pair of really warm gloves, and a book about how Ray Kroc's wife bequeathed all that McDonald's money to worthy charities.  

Did I trot out to a mall to buy these things?  I did not.  

Image result for crimson tide
I used the Amazon gift cards Santa brought me, and in just a few clicks of the very keyboard on which I am currently pounding, I bought that stuff, and in a matter of days, uniformed FedEx personnel were dropping it off on our porch.

The tide of commerce is changing.  And so am I!  You'll see me coming in one of the vests - it's crimson!

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