Friday, August 26, 2005

"Everybody's Got Their Enemies..."

Looks like Foleyma decided to piss in Don Gerard's, The Hub's, and One Main's Cheerios yesterday, for no apparent reason.

Foleyma says:

"This is development for the privileged few who have been able to self-actualize their existence through (most likely) trust funds, expensive colleges, and dictated tastes (thanks Mojo Magazine!). For the rest of us, we drive by and it all looks pretty good. But we keep on driving."

Speak for yourself. You don't know one iota about the people who've built what is downtown Champaign, Foleyma.

This person somehow thinks that restaurants, software development, print journalism, retail sales, and real estate are not "industries." While they're not smokestack, assembly line, hard-hat and goggles sort of places, Exile On Main, Ko-Fusion, Jim Gould's, Merry Ann's, Volition, The Hub, and One Main Development all belong to "industries" of their own. And if anyone was being displaced by having a paking lot moved (there is parking underground for residents of the building, so you can't say that it was totally removed) for a building to be created that would bring more jobs to downtown, than I'd like to meet them. The difference is, there are local people who develop and give to the arts. Cody Sokolski was the head of 40 North for crying out loud! Carlos and Marco Nieto and friends have redeveloped properties to make them useful to artists, and Ward Gollings arranges dates for local bands of all kinds and experience levels at those venues. Of course these people will want a return on their investment, but they have invested into places that give the "creative class" to strut their stuff, so to speak. The same can be said for Verde Gallery, which has exhibits year-round and is also locally owned and operated. These people aren't just making a buck and turning their faces from the very people who frequent their businesses. And as for the restaurants, the prices are lower or equivalent to any other sit down place in town, and I don't know anyone who can't afford something Sam's Cafe or Merry Ann's and every freakin' one is locally owned and operated. You wanna know how I know, Foley, cause I have eaten at every one of them! However, it doesn't sound like Foleyma comes downtown too often to experience this so called "gentrification" in action. I've been coming down the past 6 years consistently and know from talking to all of the people that I've mentioned (yes a first hand, rather than third-hand account like ol' Foley) about their intentions over the years, but you need not even take my word for it. Just go out and see for yourself. The reason these places can succeed and are suceeding are because of the wealth of businesses in town that are doing well outside of downtown. You see all kinds of people downtown on a weekend night, and it can hardly be said that the people who live downtown alone are filling these chairs. It's simply not the case. And to claim that there aren't "blue-collar folk" that come down town is absolulte bullshit. Do you ever go to the Esquire? How about Mike n' Molly's? How about Farren's? How about Sam's Cafe? And I see and have seen "blue-collar" types at all the rest of the places. I've been one of them, as a matter of fact. It has nothing to do with what job a person has, just what their interests are. You're being so judgemental, Foleyma, without any facts at all. It's disgusting.

However, Foleyma wishes to compare Champaign to Seattle, Cinncinati, and San Francisco. Umm, you're using situations that are so drastically different than ours that you may as well be comparing apples to crowbars. The difference is simple. The buildings were empty here! Yeah, you know the old Blind Pig was closed for years, The Highdive, Verde's space, ummm One Main's Building was a parking lot, and every other business outside of Guido's, which was acquired and redeveloped by the Nieto Group. No one was displaced! These properties weren't someone's home! No one was going to the empty buildings! The restaurant prices are lower or equivalent to any other sit down place in town, and I don't know anyone who can't afford something Sam's Cafe or Merry Ann's. There was not a dot-com bust in Champaign. There is a technology-boom, however, based on the fact that, oh Wolfram, Motorola, Volition, and the University of Illinois (among so many others) have developed ground-breaking products and have gathered individuals from across the globe to make new developments, as well. However, we all know that Champaign-Urbana is made up of more than just the tech sector, but the main argument of Foleyma's articles was the dot-com blowout, so that's why I mention it.

Go to Aroma and get a cup of their delicious (yet inexpensive) chai tea while taking in one of their many nights of free local music and chill out, Foleyma, because you obviously don't know what the hell you're talking about.

12 Comments:

At 10:44 AM, August 26, 2005, Blogger Don Gerard said...

i would love to expound further on how his argument regarding economists' opinions of richard florida's theories (hint - econonists like to deal in statistical absolutes and florida's theories have a lot of variables).

however, i do not have time as mr. sokolski is paying me a nickel for every life-sized cardboard cutout of a person i put up to create the illusion for those "driving by" there are people spending money downtown.

 
At 10:59 AM, August 26, 2005, Blogger greymatter said...

Right, and of course, since I've hauled drywall and 2x4's for a living, I'll probably be helping you prop those cut-outs up. But I wouldn't dream of going to listen to a band or *gasp* getting a $1 glass of PBR downtown. Us blue-collar folk don't like pretty buildings or food. I'm afraid of enjoying myself amongst people who *might* make more money than me.

 
At 12:52 PM, August 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention all of them gays.

I heard that Florida feller says you gotta appeal to them gay people.

Hell to the No on a stick!

And that fruity Starbucks gives them homosapiens "domestic partner" health benefits! I thought we got rid of that when we put Ol' King W back for four more!

Now, I'm no bigot, but I wouldn't want my daughter marryin' one of them gay fellers, you know?

 
At 5:01 PM, August 27, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Foleymas of the world are the ones without the stones to do anything but hide in the ether and complain.
What baffles me is how on Earth can Seth Fein staunchly supports and echoes Foleyma's misguided viewpoints.
His booking agency profits almost exclusively from the "creative class" element of the local economy.
How can he not understand it is the Starbucks and Noodles, Inc. which provide the economic means for local developers to gentrify the downtowns and campustown?
Has the Urbana Booking Company built a building yet? How much tax revenue is this "local business" providing our local economy?
Either he is ignorant or simply too stubborn/lazy to bother to research beyond his own knee-jerk, black-and-white dismissal of the immense investments others have made so that he may profit.

 
At 6:33 PM, August 27, 2005, Blogger greymatter said...

Not sure where you're getting this idea about Seth. He may not be a big fan of Starbucks coffee, but his stance on the company itself is hardly in opposition to the development of CU. You can read that for yourself in his editorial on the buzz's website archives. It's the July 14th issue. Here's a snippet:

"I was cynical enough to buy into the presumption that all corporations are evil and that they spew forth greed and poop upon all that come within proximity. But I was wrong. Starbucks does offer benefits to their part-timers. And that is really awesome. A single mother can work there for 20 hours per week, make a small paycheck, cover her and her child's health care and even start planning for the future..."

I really don't think you could be more wrong about Seth's stance on CU's development. So what if he prefers to frequent locally owned businesses? He sees the benefits that the big corps bring, too, but likes to see the profits of his cup of coffee stay here in town, and not off to Seattle.

No offense, but I think the knee-jerk reactionary may just be you, Anon.

if Seth cares to defend himself further, I'll let him speak for himself.

 
At 10:17 PM, August 27, 2005, Blogger sethfein said...

first off, what is hilarious to me is the fact that this person is posting anonymously and then, has the gall to write:

"the Foleymas of the world are the ones without the stones to do anything but hide in the ether and complain."

uhh... wanna rephrase that one sniffer? why don't you come right out and say who you are - and maybe then, WE can make an assessment as to whether or not you are blowing smoke up our collective asses?

personally, i have nothing to hide. except the fact that, well - i have a confession to make.

urbana booking co. yeah - that "co." part of the name - not a "company" at all. we are just a couple of guys who care about the state of our music scene. if we are lucky to make a little dough off of bands that pass through - awesome. a 15% promoter profit is industry standard AFTER the band is paid, the hospitality is paid for, the soundman, the doorman, the room rental, the ascap/bmi charges. this is status quo.

i am not trying to pretend to be something that i am not. urbana booking "co." was just the most generic name that i could think of when i realized something after i spoke with some kids in houston, who for a HUGE city has a very small music scene. they had an organization that did called "hands up houston". essentially, they started putting on a bunch of indie shows to help build a scene.

i started to think that having a "brand name" gives our shows a certain amount of legitimacy in terms of building a "scene". and that is all we are really trying to do. i want people to know that when we put on a show - it's going to be good. and they are good - because we don't book shitty shows. oh, you may not like the bands - i know that i don't always like the bands - but at the end of the day - some people do. and we are happy to oblige. shit - if i only booked bands that i liked - it would be a bunch of shoegazer revival acts that no one would care about!

:-)

one of the reasons i quit headlights and stopped playing live was so i could focus on that. without a good scene for nationals to come through and play, there will never be a good scene for local bands to develop in. just ask the kids at 1% Productions in omaha. they'll tell you the same thing. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

so - now that we're clear about the fact that i am not a "local business" - although it could be argued that i do bring in revenue at the bars with my shows - allow me to retort to your bullshit name calling.

lazy? stubborn? what in God's name are you talking about? all i said was that i thought that some of the downtown bars were not to my taste and that we're catering to a different audience than they are.

knee-jerk reaction? what are trying to accomplish?

another "knee-jerk reaction"? you got one on foleyma's blog - and i stand by it.

some tears? an apology for my opinions? shit... it doesn't come that easy little buddy...

if anything, i have tried to play devil's advocate - seeing both sides of the argument.

you on the other hand - have offered nothing of substance - just more pussy ass bush league inter-web cowardice.

or does posting anonymously make you feel important and safe? hmmmm....

i publish my flippin' email address in the buzz every week.

why?

because i am not scared of people's opinions the way you are.

now - whatchoo gots playa?

word.

 
At 10:43 PM, August 27, 2005, Anonymous C. said...

I stopped reading Foleyman's article after about the third sentence when he suggested that industry is the the only way to build a strong economy. Yeah! All you have to do is ask the people in Danville and Decatur and Peoria and every other mid-sized Illinois town that built themselves on industry or better yet... coal! If only Champaign-Urbana could mirror their busling economy!

 
At 1:02 AM, August 28, 2005, Blogger sethfein said...

he didn't state that it was the "only" way - he just said it was the most important.
and he is right.
case and point: volition. i mean, you don't see cafe kopi or skins n tins breaking ground for a $2M building so you? you don't see my cuz, who works at kopi, driving a benz and considering where to go this winter - cabo? or costa rica?

point being - foleyma has some good points and refutations to donny's column. he also states some things that are questionable. but - isn't that a good thing?

i think that, just like in life, people want to read into things the way they want to - rather than look at the whole picture and decipher it with an open mind and with an understanding that screams, "Goddam sucka! I never thought of it that way!"

God knows - i am just as guilty as the rest of you...

 
At 2:46 AM, August 28, 2005, Blogger greymatter said...

I don't mind a dissenting voice of opinion whatsoever. However, mixing personal attacks in with those points is weak. If you're gonna call someone out, you better damn well have some facts, and a trail of repeated offenses. Debating an ideology is one thing, but slagging people you don't know is bullshit.

 
At 9:35 AM, August 28, 2005, Blogger sethfein said...

sorry greymatter. but i didn't feel that i needed to have anything but their post in order to come back with some nice insults - considering the fact that i was the person that was insulted to begin with. -

where were his/her facts? they didn't even know anything about me except for the fact that i do, in fact, run urbana booking co. aside from that i got called "lazy", "stubborn" and "ignorant".

sure - i called him a sniffer - and i said that he is a pussy ass for posting anonymously. and i maintain that. anyone who comes on to these boards and attempts to undermine and derail someone's business/livlihood is a weakling, at least, in my opinion. and especially for questioning whether i have "built a building yet" or asking "how much tax revenue i bring in to the local economy". that's just not right man...

aside from that, all i did was defend what i do. sorry for calling him/her out for posting anonymously, but it is definitely one of my pet peeves.

be a grownup. don't hide behind a device when you call people out.

again - sorry greymatter. i will not call anyone names any more.

word.

 
At 10:52 AM, August 28, 2005, Blogger greymatter said...

Actually, Seth, I was just upset for Foleyma and others bashing downtown developers, because they're not here to defend themselves. You were personally brought up, you post here, and that's different. I, like you, just want people to hear both sides.

And it was after 2AM, and I was tired... I should have been more concise with my words. Apologies.

 
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