Whole Foods

Posted this on Facebook a few weeks ago and decided it’s so pretty I’d save it for posterity:

Just read that our local Ralphs–once a local Hughes–will be turning into a Whole Foods. Which means we will have a Whole Foods and a Gelsons to shop at now. That’s the new Silverlake for you. To think this used to be a real neighborhood, full of real people making real people wages. I swear, having your neighborhood gentrified under your feet is so sad. All the soul and feel is sucked dry and you’re left with nothing but rich white people buying organic food and complaining about the Mexicans in the parking lot.

I love where I live, but I’m not so nuts about a lot of the people living here. If I’d wanted to live on the Westside i”d have moved there. Watch out Echo Park, you’re next. The tide of money flowing in from the westside is inexorable. Head east, young man, head east. There’s life across the river.

I wondered later how a Whole Foods and a Gelson’s compete in a gentrifying neighborhood. Price wars? Gelson’s raises its prices, Whole Foods raises their’s more. Then Gelson’s raises their’s again. It’s already weird  to go to Gelson’s and see produce triple the cost of Ralphs, and proud of it. Same stuff, vegetables, fruits, berries, but fantastically, fabulously priced.  And shiny. They glitter and gleam in the light. You step into Gelson’s and slip pass the oranges and lemons and pomegranates like you’ve entered an antique porcelain boutique, afraid the slightest mistake will send that great stack of perfect oranges crashing to the floor. You break it you buy it. Turn over the rent money or they’ll seize your car. You’d be left in the parking lot, crying, with a big box of scuffed oranges and the security guard shooing you away.

It’s a rough town, Silver Lake.


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