Sunday, July 24, 2011


The new Target store in East Liberty opened this past week, with today's grand opening being the metaphorical capstone to the previous week's petit opening, when the store was open for business, but with minimal fanfare. I stopped by on Thursday and again on Saturday to check the place out, and it is nice. I hope it will be an anchor in the neighborhood for a long time, and as the linked article suggests, it is but one manifestation of a revitalized region.

Surely one of the coolest aspects was this, an escalator for shopping carts raising them from one level to the next. A very neat feature.

The place also boasts around 15 Three Rivers bike racks in the parking lot, which were very much in use as of Saturday afternoon.

After my initial stop on Thursday, it occurred to me that I should check out the documentary East of Liberty. I'd heard about it but never seen it, so I checked it out at the library and watched it that night. While I can certainly sympathize with the plights of people for whom the past forty years haven't been kind, I thought that the critiques offered by the interviewees (and by inference, the filmmakers) were one-sided, simplistic and underwhelming. A lot of it seemed to boil down to complaining about what "those people" ("gentrifying" rich white people, perhaps from the suburbs) were doing to East Liberty, and in particular, to a handful of public housing high-rises. The film seemed to idealize life in pre-Target East Liberty and demonize the people whose efforts (and money) were making it a more attractive neighborhood.

In any case, I will surely be shopping again at the new Target and look forward to the next chapter from the makers of East of Liberty.

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