Soap box moment

I just need to climb up on my soap box for a moment. But first let me set the stage a bit here.

One of my favorite music stores and a place that Nate and I used to frequent alot, especially in our "dating years" has closed. Cheapo was just kind of always there and while their new CDs were a wee bit spendy, if you could find something used you could get a great deal. Before it was a Cheapo it was a place called Great American Music and I remember going there with my parents and buying records. Yes, I am old enough to remember records, I grew up when CD players were first introduced and of course was born long before the whole digital music craze. But that's not what this post is about.

I had noticed that recently Cheapo had reduced their hours, they used to be open 9:00 am to midnight 365 days a year. Within the last year they cut back to being open only until 9:00 pm. I also know that music stores in general are suffering due to the popularity of iTunes, Amazon MP3 and the like. But, whenever we'd still pop in to Cheapo over the last couple of years there still was always people in there. And sometimes, I will admit, I still like to have a copy of an actual CD in my hand instead of just downloading it. But I'm guessing I'm becoming a minority there.

So I was driving home from work one day earlier this week and I always pass by Cheapo en route to my home. As I drove by, I noticed huge trailers and trucks in the parking lot and they were being loaded up with what I can only guess is the merchandise from the store, because as I could kind of see into the building, it was empty! Every day since I have driven by and more trailers have been there and it looks even more bare. What's more shocking? We were just there a couple of weeks ago and there was no notice of them closing down. I am sure they moved their stock over to another location because when I went to their website, they still list St. Paul and Minneapolis locations, but Fridley is gone. No mention of it anywhere.

So now that I've given you some background I'll climb up on my soap box to rant a bit. Here is what is upsetting me right now. Yesterday on my way home I saw a sign in the parking lot that they will likely be putting up and it says "Future home of Auto Zone". Excuse me??? My beloved music store is being replaced by yet ANOTHER auto place? I guess we didn't have enough auto places along Central Avenue yet!! (Sarcasm)

If you are not familiar with this area, let me help you out here, there is a tire store or auto parts store on practically every corner for about a 3 mile stretch through Columbia Heights and part of Fridley on Central Avenue/Hwy 65. It just seems like every decent establishment that is shut down lately is replaced by another stinking auto place. I'm no expert on this stuff, but is this a field that really needs that much competition around each other? Is the auto business booming enough that they can't keep up with the demand in our small little suburb that they need more places for people to buy tires? I just don't understand. I just know that I am seriously tired of places that I have enjoyed going being shut down and replaced with this garbage. It's ridiculous. Hey City of Columbia Heights (or Fridley I guess since I believe Cheapo was technically in Fridley city limits), would you like to explain this to me?

I will get down off my soap box now. Nothing I can do but mourn the loss of Cheapo and remember the good times I spent there!

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