The Selection Committee here at NIMBY's Corner usually has a tough time choosing one from among the pool of qualified applicants to be highlighted with us. This week, there was no contest. Restaurant Mogul and Status Quo SuperHero Hans More-bucks, welcome! We expect this to be only the first of many repeat visits!
Mr. More-bucks is proprietor of a 57th Street restaurant popular with students and known as a good place for Hyde Parkers to take their families. He leads the opposition to a proposed development that would include two restaurants that might be popular with students and a good place for Hyde Parkers to take their families. As he puts it in his Letter to the Editor (The Hyde Park Herald, August 1, 2007), he is among "many...local citizens who have a stake to maintain the amenities in our community."
Editorial Comment: "Maintain amenities?" WHAT amenities? The amenity of a near-monopoly on the 57th St. restaurant business? Ah hah! NIMBY logic!
We had not considered the possibility that for a restauranteur, preserving share in a captive market might be considered "an amenity." But we see his point of view. Two more restaurants would be two too many for the King of 57th Street. This might explain why Mr. More-bucks proposes relocating the Restaurants and Hotel to areas far outside the Golden Rectangle, such as the present location of the ramshackle Ramada at 49th and South Lakeshore, or the charming corner-of-death at 61st and Cottage Grove, both far, far away from 57th Street.
Cottage Grove and 61st St./Corner of Death
Editorial Comment: As we live quite near to the first of his proposed quarantine locations, we would like to thank him for thinking of us, and the possibility that we in the drab northern reaches of Hyde Park-Kenwood might benefit from a location that, as he puts it, "would diffuse the affluence and charm of Hyde Park and create less controversy."
Moving beyond this colonial project to bring uplift to the natives beyond the pale of the Golden Rectangle, Mr. More-bucks' NIMBY-ism is made still more clear in his attitude to parking. We'll quote directly:
I like to park my car near my house on Harper and I do not much care how much more money will be required to provide adequate parking on the site.
Well, now that I think about it, I'd like to park MY car near YOUR house on Harper, too, and seeing as how we both pay the same ridiculously low flat-rate wheel-tax for unlimited use of City Streets as private parking garages, I feel that I have as much right to park a few of my jalopies in front of your house as you do, which I may start doing. Instead of freeloading on the City, perhaps some of those pizza-profits could go towards a bigger garage. Or maybe try walking to work.
So, as expressions of classical NIMBY-ism, we'll add entitlement to subsidized, free, and plentiful parking to entitlement to a big slice of market-share in the pizza-burger business. Entitlement is the key word here and, if I may indulge in a wee smidgen of Marxist sloganeering, is so terribly petit bourgeois.
But that's why we're here, at NIMBY's Corner! To pull the cover off of barbecue bolshevism, and expose it for what it is -- the voice of a few cranky activists who undemocratically impose a minority voice on a much larger community.