My essay about chain stores on the Downtown Mall was published in last week's Hook (it's here).
I wrote the piece in January - I have been thinking (worrying) about the chain store issue for a while, and what finally triggered me to write about it was the news that Urban Outfitters would be opening in the old Hardware Store space.
What's made me happy, this week, is that a number of people have commented about the essay on the Hook's website. There are comments on both sides of the issue. I am happy that I've contributed to the discussion of the Mall's future, and I hope that at some point City Council and/or the Planning Commission formally address their vision for the Mall --- if they do not, then I think it's more likely than not that within ten years it will be dominated by Banana Republic et als.