it is with a heavy heart that i report to you, dear readers, the passing of one of this town's finest thrifting institutions. the goodwill on chelsea ave is no longer with us, i'm afraid, as i was pained to discover this week when i was out and about. i happened to look on the google maps listing before i left the house, and there in sad gray text under the address and phone number were the words "place closed." before i got out my weeping handkerchief (doesn't everyone have one of those?) i resolved to at least drive by and see for myself, and in fact, yes, the place is closed. the thrift store, the administrative offices, all of it. boarded up with trash covering the parking lot, like something out of a shitty movie. this is a royal bummer, for several reasons:
1. the last thing that neighborhood (or any neighborhood in this city) needs is another boarded up building. i've always been of the mindset that any business (with the exception of the really hideous corporate monstrosities like starbucks, wal-mart, blockbuster, mcdonalds, etc) occupying a given space is better than no business. even if it's another check cashing place or a nail salon or a fucking porno shop, i don't care, which leads me to
2. this is just another blow to the infrastructure of the city, and it's going to make me wince just a little bit more every time i have to drive out to bartlett or southaven just to go to a goodwill. i can imagine that the chelsea ave location wasn't exactly an enormous cash cow for goodwill in general (i know the building was in massive disrepair... hell, i photographed it) but isn't half the point of a charitable organization to help the people who need it the most? trust me, they're doing much better on stage road than they are on chelsea ave. boarding up the store is only going to contribute to the urban blight that is driving people out of the city in the first place. you shouldn't make them have to go all the way to olive branch just to get a cheap pair of pants. and lastly,
3. this was actually kind of my secret favorite store. the very fact that it was in a rough-looking neighborhood (although for all the times i went up there i never once saw anything sketchy going on, and my dopey white ass always cruised in and out completely without incident) kept the tourists away, the fact that the building was pretty fucked up kept the prices low, and i always, always found something i wanted. i never once left that place empty handed, which i don't think i can say about any other store, anywhere.
i suppose the writing was on the wall for a while - they had been having a 50% off the ENTIRE STORE sale for the better part of the last year - but it's still a shame to see the place go. i'm leaving it on my (recently revived) thrift store map (aka "A HUGE EVER GROWING PULSATING BRAIN THAT RULES FROM THE CENTRE OF THE ULTRAWORLD") partly in memoriam, and partly in the vain hopes that maybe someday they'll open it back up, although i'm not holding my breath. maybe they'll even fix the roof.
here are my past visits. rest in peace chelsea dear, you were truly one of a kind.