Just spotted these new garbage cans on Grant Street. This past spring I wondered if Grant could possibly be the most litter-filled street in the city. It was that bad. Thanks to people like Joe Tomasulo and groups like the Grant-Ferry Association, the neighborhood has been outfitted with what looks to be very simple-yet-thoughtful garbage drums. It’s the same inexpensive style that you’ve seen countless times before, though you’ve probably never paid too much attention to them. What I like about these is that they have a small mural on the front – it’s the branding image of the district. It broadcasts the message that Grant and Ferry have plans for becoming a distinct destination.
I keep hearing more and more people talking about the Grant & Ferry Market Place (or International Marketplace). What exactly is that? Well, there are those who feel that this part of town could really benefit from maintaining a strong ethnic diversity. Why not capitalize on that? Why not identify buildings where the locals can share their unique cuisines with the public? Maybe take some of those empty buildings and open them up to people that could not normally afford to rent out their own retail space or restaurant. Let them share cooking facilities. Let them learn from others in the industry who would be willing to teach the ‘dos and don’ts’ of the trade. These incubator settings could feed the empty storefronts – and that could change the face of the West Side.
Sounds too good to be true? Too easy? Maybe… maybe not. It all depends on how many people and groups get together to work on the idea. There’s MAP, the Grant-Ferry Association, Guercio’s, The Meating Place, S7, PUSH, and a number of other little markets that could add to the density and stability. Remember a few years back when there was an attempt to establish a street vendor program? None of these ideas have ever died… the research has been done, which means that as the neighborhood continues to grow, the initiatives continue to resurface. These garbage drums may appear to be insignificant to some, but to others it raises awareness of West Side potential. It also helps to keep the sidewalks clean in the meantime.