Just got back from going to town, and had first sighting of the new pawn shop on Commercial Street, smack in the nicest business district in Astoria. The storefront looks bad, guys.

The window painting scheme screams “Loans,” encircled in faux green neon sparklers, with “DVDs,” “Gold,” “Electronics,” “Guns” and more, scribbled around it this way and that. Sort of reminds me of when students working and playing at the FoodWeb, way out on 18th Street, wanted to paint a garden scene on the building (which FoodWeb owns), but were prohibited to do that by city code.

The only conclusion I can draw is that the pawn shop is seen by the city as a more worthy venture than a place that teaches people how to cook and care for themselves. And, it’s a poke in the eye to the other merchants in that area, who have invested considerable time and effort and money into beautifying their shops.

Downtown Astoria is looking very poorly. I hope it can survive yet another blighted business, and the wrath of unhappy merchants.

Susan Skinner


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