Monday, December 10, 2007

Grand Central Market, Price Gouging in Skid Row

Awakened by a loud stereo, I sauntered down to the computer, here, at the Marshal House. I felt like checking on my stats. I wish I had not. They were down. Terribly down. I sat at the screen and stared at it. I wondered if it was a
temporary thing.

I wondered if talking about past drug use turned people off. I wondered if speaking out about drug sales and usage in certain places offended people. I hope it did
not. I believe those institutions do not want that type of activity in their buildings. Somebody had to tell them. Don't shoot the messenger. Listen to the message. It is running rampant and it is hurting alot of people. I hopw they discover it.
I had a walk with a man from my neighborhood yesterday. He showed me all of the hidden secrets of Skid Row-the secret drug places, etc. We also walked to the Grand Central Market. It was bustling with activity. Musicians played to entertain the shoppers. It was great. The prices were great as well. I took a good look at the prices.

Everybody knows that, in ghettos across America, prices are high. I have never seen prices as high as they are in Skid Row. Everything is higher on Skid Row than every where else. You can go two blocks west, just two blocks, and the prices will be significantly lower for the same item. I know that the rent is more expensive per square foot as you go west. Why are the prices so much higher.

Even within Skid Row, you can go to one store and buy two items where, down the street, the price for the same items, will only allow you to buy one. DOUBLE THE PRICE. You use the store where you can purchase two items as the standard. Then go west and you can buy double the amount of items there. So, depending on where you go, you will be able to purchase between one and four units of the same good.

There is something wrong where, residents, of the poorest community in the country,
can be gouged so badly in the pocketbook. The only place worse than Skid Row is in jail where the price of coffee is 5 times higher than what you would pay in a store, even a Skid Row store.

I took a look at these prices because in the last few years, I shopped for my mother, at least twice a week. I think that is what started me on the saving money kick. Actually, it was everything, a horizontally integrated awareness and input that was occuring. I was working out and I was shopping. I was shocked at how high prices had increased since I shopped regularly in the past. I took great pride in learning how to shop. I had to be patient. Patience was something that I developed while I was training and while I was learning how to write. It takes patience to write things in detail- descriptive, productive and constructive detail.

I thought I was doing ok down here until I went to the Grand Central Market. It was fun and I was thankful that my frend took me there, not only for the prices but for something else--he enabled me to remember how it felt to go shopping for my mother 3 or 4 times a week and learn to really enjoy it and really economize.

Good morning world. I love you.



City Center POZ said...

I know you are right about the inflated prices in Skid Row, but I've always wondered why people put up with it.

You found out yesterday that you can take a fairly reasonable walk out of the area and find better prices. Why don't the residents of Skid Row do that instead of paying the ridiculous prices of the local stores?

Sure, some residents are disabled and the treks may be too much for them. However, I know many people pay jacked up prices when they are fully cabable of talking a stroll and paying half price or less.

Broadway and Grand Central Market are short distances away. What's going on with supporting the local bilkers, Walter?


skidrowscribe said...

you know what joe,
I don't really know why. However I will find out. alot of people, who are serious about things, get on a bus and go to Food For Less. However, the reason for the quiet patronage, I do not know. some people complain but still patronize. I will ask around. I have my suspicions but my suspicions are not the public's answers. I will get their answers

dgarzila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dgarzila said...

ONe thng you need to realize is that the spaces are leased out by SRO Housing Corporation.

These stores come to mind;

Best Market at the Brownstone Hotel. Another market, across the street from the Los Angeles Mission in the Ford Hotel , there is a market at the Rivers Hotel on Central and 7th , and a market in the New Terminal Hotel on 7th Street and I think Gladys.

Interesting concept that it is SRO Housing Corporation that is allowing the ridiculously high prices at these markets. For instance check this one out. The Banquet frozen dinners go for a dollar at the big grocery chains might, at the Best Market they charge 3.99. Talk about a mark up . I will check tomorrow because I think it was more than that.

We go there because to shop you have to shop when the big sales are going on and you can't bring your cart full of groceries onto the bus comfortably. Thus many of us are at the mercy of these gougers. And they take EBT and for those who get food stamps I see them buying nothing but junk food and , sodas and chips and all manner of goodies, in a line at the larger chains I assume people would question that.

City Center POZ said...

There is another market at the base of the Madison Hotel.

I agree with Don. SRO Housing should monitor the markets more carefully both for the prices they charge and the quality of food they sell.

I wonder if the rent the stores pay is public record. It would be interesting to find out just how much rent the markets pay.