Sunday, February 28, 2010

West Broadway Continues To Be Blighted By "Friedman's Butt Glass"

Contributed photo, xoxo, blog post by John Hoff

Why is it called "butt glass?" Because it's BUTT UGLY. Also, Freidman's managed to access grant money for facade improvement and did actually improve their facade. They improved it BUT!!!! for the glass. Are they just sentimental about yellowed, cloudy Plexiglass festooned with stickers?

Oh, the horror. And I've seen some horrible things in my life. I've seen...

...a pile of dead, snake-like lamprey, all frozen into a large chunk. I've worked on a military psychiatric ward and stared into the eyes of madmen. I'm the author of two books on the subject of dumpster diving, so you can bet I've gazed upon some horrible, rotten stuff. And just today I saw a house where at least three Level Three sex offenders live--right next to a house with two children's bikes in the yard--and that was a terrible sight to behold.

But all these ghastly spectacles shrink and pale in comparison to the sight of the increasingly-infamous Friedman butt glass. So awful is this spectacle that I will be forced to cry out against it at regular intervals, until it finally changes. The horror, the horror...

20 comments:

Michael Spivak said...

Sex offender does not mean pedophile, you realize.

Anonymous said...

You should buy them a new window if it bothers you so much.

Anonymous said...

Yea your house isn't so great either.

Anonymous said...

and plexi-glass does not mean glass.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

It seems like we've been disagreeing quite a bit on the blog here, John, which is rare.

As much as I agree that the glass is unbecoming, and as frustrated as I am that Friedman's hasn't replaced it, I do have to disagree with your approach here. This is a local small business that's stuck it out in the community through some VERY rough times. Give 'em some credit and cut 'em some slack.

Revitalization will come; a new, more visually pleasing window will be a part of that. I don't see bashing Friedman's in this way as necessary or helpful.

Johnny Northside said...

Yeah, that's what Ranty used to say about Merwins Liquor. Until they suddenly fixed their "butt fence" issues after I went off upon them, over and over, on this blog. Ask the folks who gave Friedman's the facade money how THEY feel about Friedman's getting so much cash to fix a facade...and then not taking care of the most unattractive aspect of the facade.

Please, feel free to poll each individual member of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Business Committee and then give me THEIR feedback about Friedman's and their "butt glass."

As for butting heads, well, heck...at least you butt heads in a substantive and thoughtful way and your contributions are always great. So it doesn't bother me too much if we butt heads. In fact, since I'm being the "bad cop" maybe you can go be the "good cop" and tell Friedman's to clean up their act, because I took four different pictures in front of their "butt glass," which is visual ammunition for four more posts before I need to go back for refills.

It's ugly and instead of making excuses for them--I mean, hell, it's not like they haven't been DIRECTLY AND REPEATEDLY TOLD BY MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD--maybe you can figure out what is their major malfunction and what they need over there to do what needs to be done because I really have no intentions of laying off.

But I'll give you this: that ongoing situation over at Hawthorn (sic) Crossings is much more serious than a little discolored Plexiglass at Friedman's.

Anonymous said...

I think it's cool to look at old photos and see the Friedman's that's there today looking very much like it did ages ago.

Still, Friedman's- C'mon! Get rid of that nasty ass plexiglass. If you can take the money for the facade, deal with the plexiglass. Solidify your position as a survior and renewer. Get rid of the plexiglass and I'll come shop in your store and I'll tell you I came because you got rid of the plexiglass.

You've earned your place, now show a little pride. Johnny's right.

Margaret said...

I assume that there is a reason for the plexi rather than glass. Like they got tired of replacing the glass from vandalism and bullet holes. Give them a little credit for the practicality since they have survived this long. I am not a fan of many of my neighbors' bars on all their windows and doors, but I don't criticize their approach to trying to stay safe and secure.

Ranty said...

Oh jeez, I had nearly forgotten about our arguments regarding your initial eviceration of Merwin's!

Johnny Northside said...

And now I shop at Merwins all the time.

Ranty said...

BTW Johnny, don't forget that Merwins delivers. And, I think, it is free. I'm just sayin.

I remember when Ed posted about it on MNSpeak a couple of years ago... I was having a "before party" at the HH and needed supplies, so I gave them a try.

I got delivery way over to SoMi, and a free bottle of Skyy vodka to boot.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

And the irony here Connie is that I was in total agreement with John about Merwins. AND despite the butt fence being addressed, I still will not shop there. The store itself, its connection to a payday loan "un-bank," and the near-constant panhandling in the parking lot do not make the experience enjoyable in the least. I'll take my business to BLO (or Surdyk's for the bison grass vodka) thank you very much.

Kevin said...

Yes, the windows are really, really ugly, but I still like and support this business - one of the few on Broadway I DO support. So what would be the cost of replacing the plexiglass? Anyone know? I'm sure they feel it's necessary to stick with the plexi for reasons already stated. I would also imagine since the front of this store faces south, sunlight quickly does a number on the glass and turns it the ugly yellow we all hate.

How about the neighborhood helps them out? We've had forgivable loan programs for homeowners. In fact my neighbor received about $4000 for exterior improvements and she doesn't have to pay the money back. Why not do something similar with our NRP $ for businesses?

Anonymous said...

BLO & Surdyk's are the way to go!

M. Clinton said...

In addition to being ugly, I think the plexi glass sends the message that "This is the kind of place where bullets, bottles, or rocks might break REAL glass - therefore we cover with plexi." While this may be true, it seems to me that such defensive moves, while seemingly practical, sort of "give in" to the negative perceptions of the area. I challenge Friedmans to believe that new times are arriving to W Bro and get rid of the plexi - including the "plexi box" covering the super cool vintage neon sign.

MikeT said...

I'd like to know why JNS is focusing so much on this and ignoring the Karamu issue. Why do they get a free pass? Is JNS in bed with the Karamu/U of M crowd?
IS THERE A COVER-UP BY JNS ON THIS ISSUE?

Johnny Northside said...

I'm sure you're being humorous, Mike T. I'm just swamped with stuff and haven't had a chance to publish on that issue quite yet. Feel free to enlighten us more about it and I'm sure I'll get the photo up soon...

Anonymous said...

ok, chuckles @ MikeT for his humor, but seriously - Johnny lives right in the area of Friedman's, Hawthorn Crossings, Burger King and the "heroin block"/900 block of Wbro.

MikeT lives near Karamu. It makes sense.

MikeT, how about you write us up some of the backstory and get it posted here at JNS.

M. Clinton said...

I just had a thought while I was looking at Friedman's today. The windows are completely covered in signage. That is in violation of city code. There is a certain percentage of window area that must remain unobstructed and I believe even completely unobstructed at eye level. I know this as while on the CANDO board, we made it a requirement that businesses come into compliance with this prior to receiving any Great Streets facade grant $$. I don't want to sound "down" about Friedman's though. I am glad they are there. And I'll make a pact that if they remove the plexi glass and excess signage from their windows, I will from here on out buy every pair of my shoes from their store!

Anonymous said...

Glass or plexi lets see glass breaks until the north side becomes safer i totally understand friedmans stand on plexi, signage everyone has signage in there windows pick on friedmans go on let them leave the northside because of this crazy person johnny norhside he has nothing better to do give me a break, they have been here for a 110 years and you guys have nothing better to do then you dont deserve them in the neighborhood. Your loss put a drug house there and let you guys enjoy that instead of a good business. You guys are a poor example of the what the northside is about. I pity you all.