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The Battle of Avenue 45

Following the Whitley Heights' War of Attrition between the Hollywood Machine and his half-naked British neighbor, we were on the lookout for our next neighborhood squabble. It's our life-breath and we can't hype it enough. So, in regards to the post from last week where a reader moaned about the impending closure of the Albertsons on Ave. 45 and Figueroa in Northeast LA, another reader writes in and tells the moaner to suck it.

Dear Curbed,
I read the reader's rant about the Albertsons on Figeroa in Highland Park you posted on your site on January 13, 2006, and it sounds like someone's got the world's smallest violin playing just for them. I've attended a few neighborhood council meetings (Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council) and every time that
store's name was brought up people had something negative to say about it. They wanted Albertsons to
pay for better street lights. The store wasn't doing enough for them and their pet community projects. It
created too much traffic. Homeless people bought things there. It just goes on and on.

If Albertsons can't generate enough business from this area, they deserve to go somewhere they can. End of story.

The truth is that this neighborhood is a contrast in haves and have nots. The hillsides around the arroyo are stuffed with relatively obnoxious upper class folks. The arroyo is spackled thick with working class renters, living in income properties owned by out of town landlords.

The discount grocery stores (Food For Less and one more on Ave 26 and Fig) are eating into Albertsons bottom line, and the rich folk turn up their noses and go to Trader Joes in Eagle Rock or South Pasadena to get the goods and services that will never be available at these bargain basement food clearance warehouses.

And if you want to know more about the scandalous closing of Mudpuppies coffee house, keep reading.

The story with Mudpuppies (which was VERY cool) is as follows: The owner had some serious hassles with the building (one year for the gubmint to clear him of HPOZ and ADA

He divorced his wife. They tried to burn the place down to collect insurance money. It didn't work, and now the place is closed.

Bottom line in all of this: people like to whine.

I say Albertson's property should be acquired by the city and converted into a year-round open air mercado/farmer's market, underparked, and with a small portion dedicated as a community garden for corn,
beans, squash, and other native plants (for use in local celebrations, etc.). Let the people who sell food, and generate profits locally help themselves out of their situation. Who cares about some big corporate store? I want my frutas, mariscos, and carne fresh and cheap. Let the "market" become a real Market.

Just my two cents.

· Albertsons: It was your store [Curbed LA]