I was slogging through the rain and slush and didn't feel like pulling out the camera for a picture to go with the news that Sam's Wine Shop on Washington Avenue is closed and the space is for rent.
It happened three weeks ago when I was out of town, so this is not exactly a news flash. But seeing the empty storefront that once warmed a transitional block really brought home today how this economy is going to suck for quite awhile, and the carnage for many neighborhoods has very little to do with what happens to GM and the stock market.
Sunday, the Strib had a cover story about the demise of a business in my former office building that told how other small business tenants there are struggling and how the safety net for those who once created jobs isn't there. I can testify (not personally, we always paid our rent) how the building owner carried tenants through past downturns and individual hard times. How long before he experiences trouble?
Too often, the big boys get the bailouts and the stimulus when things go awry and the decent little guys who give life to a city get the shaft.