Exile on Main Street

This headline in the Times Union caught my eye:

Wolf Road, region’s ‘Main Street,’ struggles in pandemic economy

In what godforsaken dystopian world is Wolf Road your “Main Street?”

Far from being our Main Street, other overbuilt retail areas in the region are described as being, “like Wolf Road.”

Don’t get me wrong: there is a place for the Wolf Roads of America. You may hate the acres of parking lots, soulless chain restaurants, and mind-numbing traffic, but for better or worse, big communities need big retail. But Main Street? I think not.

You want to talk Main Street? Walk down Broadway in Saratoga. Visit Altamont. Stroll down Warren Street in Hudson. Pick any number of spots in Troy. That’s Main Street.

Main Street is part of our collective culture. The greatest fictional Main Street may well be what we see in It’s a Wonderful Life, with it’s hometown shops and colorful characters. Wolf Road? That’s more like Mr. Potter’s nightmarish parallel world ,where George Bailey gets schooled on his place in the universe.

No, not my Main Street.

I hate to say this, but after decades of places like Wolf Road destroying Main Street, is it time for a little payback? It could be that this COVID mess will leave people wanting to shop close to home — on Main Street, even. We could do worse.

4 thoughts on “Exile on Main Street

    1. Great question. Definitely Delaware Ave. and New Scotland — but also around Clinton and Henry Johnson Blvd. Of all places, Central Avenue is a vibrant Main Street. Lark, of course. Nowhere downtown…

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