Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sorry We’re Closed:

Yesterday Wal-Mart made news when it revealed that it was looking to place a store in Flushing in a large location that has been abandoned for years. As a resident of Flushing for 30 years I immediately knew where Wal-Mart was referring too. The location, on Roosevelt Ave off of Main Street, use to be Macy's before they closed. I remember many of days shopping with my mom there as a little kid. The location then became a Caldor before they too packed up and left. Knowing the location I don’t know if the space would have been good for Wal-Mart for the simple reason that it’s a little small for what Wal-Mart is use too. Wal-Mart took a look anyway because their studies, not the politicians, tells them New Yorkers want Wal-Mart. They know this because their credit card receipts from stores in Long Island and New Jersey tell them people are coming from the City to shop there.

Despite the data that shows Wal-Mart would be great for the City our representatives still fight hard to keep them out. This time it was Flushing’s City Council member Democrat John Liu. John Liu after hearing the report told the New York Sun “Wal-Mart is not welcome in Flushing”. As a resident of Flushing his comments make sense. Flushing has become a stronghold for Asian nationalism in the City and John Liu is its result. He has fought hard to make sure more than just Wal-Mart isn't welcomed as he has consistently fought local groups to make sure signs for local businesses don’t have to have English. This creates an unfriendly environment for anyone who can’t read them. The business owners also do their part for when you try to patronize their stores; many treat you poorly making you feel not welcomed. It’s also well known and something I have experienced personally, that if you attempt to call one of the real-estate offices in the neighborhood, if you’re not Asian you don’t get your call returned.

It’s funny watching John Liu attempt to get on his high horse and act as if he’s concerned about Wal-Mart bringing down this great town. Considering John Liu had no problem tearing down landmarks like 100-year-old buildings like the old Queens County Bank to build a crappy little mall, it’s amazing he would think Wal-Mart is a detriment to the town. I think Wal-Mart should try the location again but this time tell Liu they’ll put their sign in Chinese.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home