Friday, June 1, 2012

Openings, Closures, Openings…

The Patapsco River and bridge, separating Howard and Baltimore Counties.

..."plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"—"the more it changes, the more it's the same thing", usually translated as "the more things change, the more they stay the same," (Les Guêpes, January 1849).


Change:  We feel it; we honor it; we have memories, both communal and personal; and then, we tend to make a smooth transition--this time of year--into summer joy and move forward with energy, into a slightly revised future.  In order, I think…that’s how brief it is…in my view:

Empty parking lot, surreal sky. Land's End, gone.

First, it was the Land’s End and Sears complex at Chatham Mall on Route 40. I rarely shopped there and it isn't in Ellicott City Historic District, but it seemed symbolic to me in our economy and perhaps more than that.  Without hesitation, I felt stunned going inside to find a largely bare interior, felt a deep sadness about the empty racks, moving vans…it always happens when such abrupt change occurs. But it is an entire category of loss and change.  The good news is that the feeling doesn’t last.  

Second, and most troubling to me (and sad) is the slated demolition of a landmark diner on Route 40 in Ellicott City:  The Forest Diner.  It has been in the works for some time, and I featured it in this series...and also ate there frequently, always breakfast.  The last day of its existence, so I understand, was May 28.  I was in New York City and had scheduled breakfast with a friend, but by the time I returned, I read that I was too late.  Gone!

Then, a couple weeks ago, I think (because it has already been digested), DONNA’s—a really cool restaurant on the way to the new Wegman’s, by the way--closed abruptly. I was to meet a friend there for dinner; a sign on the door succinctly thanked patrons. That was it. We went somewhere else, and not a first choice. 

Just before leaving on a trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, a friend told me that Yates Market on Main Street in Ellicott City Historic District would be closing. I do not know the time-table for closure.  Another friend said that the owner planned to retire and that "we must honor that." Yes, and this is another category of change.  Retirement.  I know nothing more at this point, except that the market and store have been nurtured and managed by generations of this family.

Closures are like Slow Leaks

Probably not a real "closure," but when I discovered a slow leak in one tire, so decided to buy a new duplicate kind tire at Merchant's in Lotte Plaza a couple days ago...symbolic again...and thought I would have some lunch at my favorite local place, THAI AROMA, there was a sign on the door, shown here.  It made me feel hollow inside.  More change? 

Sign on THAI AROMA door. They are probably on vacation, at least I hope so!

CHANGE!  It is a sharp punctuation in the rhythm of our lives, touching us more, or less, depending upon our demeanor, and what closes and how…and when. 

Perhaps it is what else is happening in our lives that some closure reverberates.  

Denee Barr’s great jazz sounds are featured here to accompany this short essay on change. The song, by Duke Ellington, is an upbeat gloss on the state of things, as we DO get around, in spite of change, although perhaps in a "bluesy way," to begin with...

Change: We feel it; we honor it; we have memories, both communal and personal; and then it changes again. We tend to feel summer joy, go on vacations, smile at dragonflies, and move forward with renewed energy, into a slightly revised future.


There is another important category of change. Creators of shops decide to move on, by choice. Such is the recent history of The Still Life Gallery on Main Street in Ellicott City Historic District.  Rebecca Weber’s e-mail to clients is quoted, in part, here:

     To All My Wonderful Friends, 

After 17 Years I am passing the torch to Sara Arditti and her husband, David, two spectacular and innovative individuals…Wishing everyone a restful holiday!..

Yes, and in this instance, it IS passing the torch, which implies continuity...the measure of our evolved historic district, which changes, yet remains the same.

Kay Weeks, content and photos, 
in collaboration with Denee Barr.  
June 1, 2012



Denee Barr Art News and More said...

When one door closes another door opens. It's the rhythm of life.
Change is good.

Anonymous said...

Wow - you captured it! change, not The End!

Cindi Ryland
Ellicott City, MD

Anonymous said...

I love this one, reflects exactly how many of us feel. Thai Aroma...oh no!

Sharon Crain
Catonsville, MD

Anonymous said...

Thai Aroma?

Did they reopen yet?

Leslie Lewart

Harry said...

Change is the only constant in life.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Always something familiar to leave a void, esp. the Diner. Took April there since she was a baby and some of the waitresses had worked there for over 40 years! It is a huge change for them, not to mention the customers.