My dream was that during the first part of March that some benefactor would come out and say, that I'm buying Schwartz's Book Store and guaranteeing its existence in Shorewood until we find a permanent way to handle it and at least for the next five years.
Wouldn't that be wonderful news? However, that was just a dream, even though it was a rather good one.
But in reality it seems that we can expect only a decline in the locational and social sense of community at the heart of our village. I guess that I'll be the only one left in my virtual public square, located at Capitol and Oakland, but with no bookstore. “It's no big deal.”
“Not to worry,” that seems to be the answer that is coming back to those of us who care.
I'm trying to imagine what the storefront will look like in April when the building is no longer the bookstore but an empty building.. If no other business occupies it, it is going to be just an empty space north of Walgreen's, an empty building south of Pick-n-Save's parking lot. Eventually, will we expect Walgreen's to disappear too.
What will it look like from across the street, from the apartments. Will it have a “for rent” sign in one of the darkened windows? Or will the sign say, “closed until we decide what to do?”
Or will the sign say that another business has decided to locate here?
If not, then in April, one can walk all the way from the entrance to Walgreen's, going north, with no activity of any sort, except cars parking and unparking until one reaches the entrance of Pick-n-Save.
What a beautiful walk, especially in the rain or when the wind is blowing. But so what. “No big problem”
“There was nothing anyone could do.” “We knew that this was going to happen.” But what we don't know is how this is going to affect us. In a good dream, someone might still come from somewhere and make it work again. Who's it going to be?
Of course, there's still going to be a bookstore on Downer Avenue, just south of here. Ah, that's right. All I have to do is change some of my shopping habits.
I can drive to Downer instead of to the former bookstore on Oakland. They also have a Starbucks attached. And I can bank there nearby. And there's a good Sendiks there, where I can do my grocery shopping. They even have a hardware store as well as a drug store. What about the theater?
So it wasn't an April fool joke after all. I can still do my own thing. When I arrive at the Downer business district, I'll only be two feet from anywhere and closer to the Calatrava building and not far from the parks on the Lake. And that's not bad, in the summer time.
Plenty of outdoor eating places. Some good single family houses and apartments within walking distance. A good walkable community.
So it wasn't an April fool's joke. When we wake up we'll realize that it wasn't a bad dream after all.