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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Rotterdam nixes Wal-Mart

Big Box Booted: Rotterdam put a 4-month ban on "big box" store construction yesterday, for the purpose of heading off the construction of a new Wal Mart (TU article here).

I don't know about Rotterdam, but the big box phenomenon surely has taken hold up and down Route 9 from Latham through Clifton park. Exits 7 and 9 of the Northway are now unimagineably busy compared to just 10 years ago.

I'm mixed on this kind of develoment. I don't mind the big box retail stores - they pay hefty taxes to the towns and they do tend to lower the price of goods. That makes sense to me, although i can understand the hostility people have to traffic and the closing of local businesses.

The chain restaurants, however, I hate. I really do. Exit 7 and 9 are just full of the same "TGI Friday's/Outback/UNO/random-Italian-chain" setups. Not my cup of tea - long waits, unimaginative food, and impersonal service. I don't consider myself an anti-corporate type, but as far as chain-food goes, i'm ralph nader.
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