Tuesday, March 15, 2011

JNS BLOG EDITORIAL: Friedman's Shoe Store Persists In Its Shabby Ways/ JNS Blog Extends "Butt Glass Days"

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

More than a month ago, this blog made a public vow to keep raising the issue of the dirty, discolored Plexiglass at the Friedman's Shoe Store on West Broadway. Just to be fair, I'd like to point out not the ENTIRE store is nasty, discolored, and festooned with old stickers. My critique is limited to the ground floor windows. In fact, SOME of the store has a real classy look, like the portion pictured above.

But the simple fact is many folks in North Minneapolis--not just me--have pointed out that Friedman's is inexplicably resisting the general trend of in North Minneapolis of spiffing up and revitalization. That's the kind of thing you'd expect from slumoidal slumlord Keith Reitman, but you expect better from this "umpteen generations" shoe peddling business. That's why I promised to keep bringing up their ugly "butt glass" (my phrase, my coinage) until "the Ides of March." That's today. And I said if nothing happened by the Ides of March, well, we'd see.

Here it is the Ides of March. Nothing has happened.

Johnny Northside Dot Com is now in VIRTUAL FROWNY FACE MODE.

I swear, Friedman's, when the people of the neighborhood are making a critique...and you're a business and won't listen to the critique or act upon it...what do you think is going to happen? That the critique is going to go away?

The harsh public critique is NOT going away. In fact, facts and harsh public critiques are all North Minneapolis "revitalizers" have to fight with sometimes, all we have to make our environment better. You, Friedman's, are shabbing up our environment and (I might point out) you had the nerve to spit bile at me when you talked to that "crackhead looking lady" from the Mpls Mirror. Did you seriously think a harsh public critique was going to stop my harsh public critique? You have only managed to make your store more well known, NOT for shoes but for having AN ASS UGLY EXTERIOR.

"Butt Glass Days" is hereby extended until Tax Day, April 15. That means I might (out of the blue, on a whim) write something any given day--I surely will before April 15, maybe once, maybe several times--and I might make mention of "butt glass" at odd times in comments, in blog posts, etc.

What are you going to do? SUE ME? You can see how well THAT works.

(Do Not Click Read More)


Anonymous said...

From what I understand the Friedmans have been pursuing a renovation that would pretty up what I agree is a storefront that is in dire need of a facelift. I say this because it's been in the works for some time and want to nip your victory celebration in the bud now before you create some major issue and then claim victory when it is finally addressed. They are working on it. Give them a chance.

Johnny Northside! said...

My bud is duly nipped, however, I have heard that whole "working on it, something will happen soon" line before.

I heard it enough that I held off for a while, and I regretted it, because nothing got done.

But let's assume what you say is true. Well, then I will need some new piece of blight to gripe about. Readers are free to put forward suggestions.

Anonymous said...

JNS has been creating a major issue about Friedman's Butt Glass for over a year now, and I doubt their plans to pretty up their store has been in the works for over a year. If it has, they are doing it wrong.

So, JNS should plan a victory party when the face is lifted. A victory party that involves spotlighting more blight that needs to be face lifted. *cough*chocolatebrown*cough

Anonymous said...

I'm all for demanding better, but how about working with the groups that are doing facade and other grant programs in the area and directly approach the properties that could use some improvement?

Money isn't falling from the sky these days for any businesses and these programs make it affordable to do the work needed. If they slam the door in your face, it seems your wrath would be warranted, but if they recognize the issue and are willing to do what they can to address it (if possible) that would seem to be more productive than throwing stones from a dark corner of the interwebs. Besides, while you may think EVERYONE reads your tirades, Friedmans and the next subject of your ire may have no idea that your undies are all in a bunch and you will have wasted all of these choice words for nothing.

Anonymous said...

In trying to determine if JNS has "been creating a major issue" about the Friedman's facade, I clicked the keyword link and pulled up a few unkind mentions. There was one from 2010 that mentioned a panel approving facade grant money and believe it or not, they are now finalists for that money. Perhaps it's not Friedman's doing it wrong, but a grant distribution system that is crawling far too slow.

Nonetheless, it's no joke and no delay tactics on their part. If all goes well, there will be a new look on the corner this summer.

Johnny Northside! said...

People keep ASSERTING that fixes are on the way. When will we get our fixes? In the sweet bye and bye when the chariot swings low?

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like this is the first post in which JNS urges Friedman's to fix their ugly plexiglass facade.

But it doesn't seem that was the first time JNS wrote about Friedman's, which seems to be here

in which JNS writes about Friedman's getting a facelift. Sadly they didn't lift the ugliest part of the face.

And then JNS wrote about Friedman's here:

in which JNS writes about Friedman's being in Sports Illustrated.

So it seems JNS has given them a fair amount of publicity and a more than fair time to take it upon themselves that their facade is butt ugly and should be improved for the betterment of the whole West Broadway corridor, they are at the east gateway to West Broadway.

Johnny Northside! said...

What he/she said.

Johnny Northside! said...

To the trolls: You win your bet. I didn't post it.

What did you bet? A steak dinner at the Monte Carlo, maybe?

Anonymous said...

To anon 10:12. The current grant process is actually the third round of facade improvements in as many years. The grantorsnhave sent announcements to each and every business on west broadway each time. Fried man's has not applied.

Anonymous said...

My gosh, what a schleppenstein to kibbutz excessively about a long heritage of lineal success. A case of the putz calling the mensch non kosher. Oy Vey!!!

Johnny Northside! said...

Friedman's has not applied?

Can you give more details? Who is the grantor? When were the deadlines? Etc?

Because I've been told something is "in the works" for quite a while. Is that just bulls****?

Johnny Northside! said...

I just received some info by email saying Friedman's HAS applied and is up against stiff competition for the grant. Word is the application is for quite an extensive renovation.

I'm still in "believe it when I see it" mode.

Anonymous said...

One does not need some huge grant or renovation to make a place looked "cared for" and demonstrate pride in contributing positively to the aesthetic of the community. The plexi "box" over their sign could be removed altogether. It doesn't need to be there. Is the yellowed plexi over the windows the actual glass or just a covering? If a covering, just remove it. Paint the facade in a smart, well thought out color scheme. Get some consultation to get the colors right if needed. Put out some potted plants on the sidewalk. I could do a cosmetic redo of that place for less than $500.00.

Anonymous said...

The above commenter is right, Friedman's, along with many other businesses on West Broadway, really could do a lot to improve their curb appeal for very little money and effort. I like the simple idea of potted flowers! Just think of what a colorful message that would send about the care of our community!

The businesses need to step up their game, especially with such an improvement being made to the security in that general area, take it to the next level!

Vanity Fail said...

Anon 12:24, funny you should mention stepping up security in NOMI area business. Great if they'd do that, but I don't see it happening, at least if my last evening is any indication of things to come. It seems that a business is helping potential criminals 'take it to the streets' in quiet Lind-Bohannan.

We received a flyer on our car’s windshield for a new business on Lyndale, a beauty shop under new management (Not giving name, I will not help publicize 'em). It advertises “Come Get Fly For Every Night!!!! Off The 22 Bus Line. Which is great, I love business in NOMI. But, and this is a big BUT, I do not like flyers put on our windshield on the car in the alley at 9:30 at night; In the dark, in our alley, setting off motion lights up our walkway to a locked gate. Especially when the flyer delivery person has a blasting subwoofer.

What the timing and ‘embellishment’ of this delivery tell me is that the business owner hired some guys in the hood o the cheap, and provided them with the opportunity to case out whole blocks. For all I know, the business owner is a fence, and makes 40% on the deal.

Normally, I would be a supporter of new business in NOMI, but this business’s marketing is pure fail, and warrants some scrutiny. NOMI doesn’t need business that supports this sort of fail.

NoMi Passenger said...

@Vanity fail, interesting story, I can relate to why you'd be upset with folks cruising the alleys late at night.

My comment about stepping up the security was in regards to the east end of West Broadway. John will probably write about it sometime soon so stay tuned, and thanks for contributing to substantive discussions.

Vanity Fail said...

NoMiPassenger, I know I'm a little off topic, and out of 'downtown NoMi', but like they say, what comes around, goes around. Just a heads up.

ps~I will be forwarding my complaint to the 4th.

Johnny Northside! said...

This is me making fun of comment spam that I'm not going to publish in its entirety. Got one on this story as follows:
That is one sexy pair of shoes and that too from puma. I normally search online shoe stores to check new designs and pick up which I like.
The phrase "shoe stores" contained a live link. The posting was by somebody named "Sandra," which I'm fairly confident is not the name her parents gave her when she was born under China's draconian and oppressive "one child" policy.

Two words, my dear spammer: Jasmine Revolution.

And to your spam I reply: That is one not sexy comment and that too spam. I normally not publish and make fun which I like!

leeesher said...

BIG NEWS!!! I drove past Friedman's on my way to work, and there was a crew out replacing the windows! Hallelujah!