Diana of The Qi Papers has been working on a block print of cranes. I told her that if people in her town could do cranes, people in Milpitas could do cranes, and began working on my own crane art. She replied that maybe people in Milpitas should stick to mechanical cranes. That smart remark is why I am not showing her my crane in progress. Plplpl!
Todd of American Carriage Builder went on a walking tour of his home town Columbus, WI and wrote a great blog entry about some of the beautiful historic buildings. Check out his September 9 th entry.
My town of Milpitas was incorporated in 1954 and does not have a long history in it's architecture, at least not like Columbus. With a population of 70,000, it has grown pretty fast. Most of it's buildings are newer.
So, inspired by Todd's blog, and tempered by Diana's mechanical cranes remark, here are "The Supermarkets of Milpitas."
Nob Hill, where I shop. The checkers take all the groceries out of your cart for you, and the baggers walk it out to your car and load it up. Checker Betsy always asks after Silver Rabbit's wellness.
This used to be a Lucky, closer to my home. When the new Safeway was being constructed across the street, the name changed to Alpha Beta to try and be more upscale. It didn't work, so the name was changed back to Lucky to attract the bargain conscious. Nearby Save Mart already has the bargain shopper demographic, so it shut down.
Now it's going ethnic.
This is the new Safeway that was the downfall of Lucky-Alpha Beta-Lucky. It's huge. I never shop there. You practically need a Sherpa guide to find your way around, and you gotta unload your cart and load your car.
This is the Save Mart with the budget minded customer base. It is an old building. The parking lot pre-dates Arbor Day
This is Lion. It embodies the philosophy common to SF Bay Area freeways and streets; "If you don't already know where you are going, you don't deserve to get there."
Ranch 88 is on the other side of I880. The sign is nearly the only one in English, other stores have the signs in Chinese. But the shoppers here are not all Chinese, everyone shops here, and Chinese shoppers are like all other shoppers, they shop everywhere. It's just what you'd expect. Shopping in a market where you can't read the labels can be pretty straightforward. The packages have pictures of the food. Packages with pictures of crackers generally contain crackers. Likewise cookies. Except when crackers and cookies look alike. Chicken flavored crackers have a picture of a chicken. Sometimes they taste like shrimp. I used to think chicken of the sea was tuna. But really, most of the packages are also labeled in English.
I like living in Milpitas, even though it is not a picturesque as Columbus, WI. Why, do you ask? It's a good question. Why don't you ask again in January when Todd is up to his back pockets in snow.