Things we're happy that DT Raleigh has...and doesn't have!

This doesn’t apply so much locally, but if I’m a visitor in another city and I have a handful of kids. We’re hungry since we’ve been out exploring museums and parks and whatnot all morning. Am I going to pick The Bumpy Pickle or Mcdonald’s for lunch? I have no idea what The Bumpy Pickle is, if it’s kid friendly, even if it is will my kids eat anything on their menu, is it within my budget? Idk, I could look it up, but I’m sure most people don’t. One is a known quantity the other is a crap shoot.

As for big box stores, well some people just don’t like going to 85 different places when their list includes kid’s clothes, bras for her, a new trash can, lightbulbs, a jacket for him, and a 12 pack of soda. Big box stores are just ultra convenience stores. I wouldn’t do all my shopping for everything there always, but they have their place.


My corollary to all of that is 1) if I am going all the way to San Francisco, why on Earth would I eat at the McDonalds. I researched a million things to get there and see and do stuff, the easiest thing in the world is to find the Tacolicious. 2) a single trip Target and Coscto damages my psyche much more than popping into Man Mur, Yellow Dog, and Ace. Amazon covers about anything else smaller shops can’t handle here though, yes, I still do go in bigger places once in a while. Sure…there is a place for them. I have my first kid coming and imagine I’ll be there more than I am currently. But, like I said, I am leery of higher end chains that jack the rent and force out smaller places that survive on smaller volume and margins. I don’t think the Hillsborough St Target is going to threaten Ace or Man Mur, but if you tore out a whole block downtown for a Target or say, the Smokey Hollow Publix space was all for a suburban format Target, I would think that would be the start of suburbanizing downtown.


That’s you. Understand not everyone is you. I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but I do think these places serve a purpose. Oh and btw, you know there’s a McD’s in Times Square right? That’s a totally suburbanized area right there.

I am offering the other side of the coin…not trying to stamp my seal on both sides. You don’t have to like it or the way I convey it (which seems to be your bigger problem). Also, I think you misunderstood my intent with the suburbanized remark…I meant in terms of retail assemblage in an area and not necessarily the physical manifestation of it, though in a place like DTR the who can certainly influence that…in Manhattan, less so, given the price of a postage stamp lot there. So if Times square was Target, McDs, Starbucks, Walgreens, CheeseCake Factory, PacSun, PF Changs, Applebees, Taco Bell, TGI Fridays and nothing else…no matter the physical setup, I’d call that a whitewashed retail assemblage typical of a suburban area. I suppose its possible, downtowns will eventually mostly give way to the fattest wallet, and old rotting suburban strip centers will have to be incubators for small, creative business plans. I hope that never happens as I want the interesting buildings to house the interesting businesses, and the boring buildings to keep the boring businesses.

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I have no problem with Mcdonald’s at all. Will even eat there abroad, especially in Russia where the options aren’t the best. Just got back from UK and we had 5 Guys for dinner on our last night in London.