Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Empty buildings everywhere


Every Sunday after 7am Mass I drive one of my kids out to Chelmsford on 110 to play chess at a Hindu temple. The temple is just rented space in a office/strip mall, but they are building farther out their own building. I can only imagine 125 years ago the immense joy and enthusiasm of Catholic Churches being built all over the Lowell area.

I have to start avoiding historic photos of Lowell on social media, it usually turns into some sort of pity party of aging baby boomers complaining that their Church where their parents were married is now empty. Well if you move out of the city to raise your children, and your grandchildren rather get married at Disney Word or a hog farm, well stop crying over the empty buildings.

We don't worship buildings. OK. Stop it. Stop blaming the archdiocese for them being closed. The Church is the community, not the building.

But for comparison here, the oldest Christian Monastery was in use for 1400 years until the Islamic State took over the city of Mosul. Here in Lowell there was not a takeover or Christian persecution, everyone simply voluntarily left until the church could no longer be feasibly open for nostalgic purposes. 

Back to empty buildings everywhere

Now with the outgrowth of suburbia and a change of demographics and jobs out along the belts of highways, mills and churches sit empty. But there are other empty spaces I grew up in Chelmsford and I am somewhat familiar with the 110 area that goes through Westford into Littleton. There were empty buildings everywhere along with dead strip malls.

The strip mall that previously held a Market Basket, until it rebuilt new across the street was being renovated for a Whole Foods, but half of the smaller stores we gone. And as I drove west into Littleton little abandoned buildings popped out along newer construction. No one could even be bother to bulldoze the once popular Chinese restaurant.



And Kimball's is probably still a ripoff. 

(Old post from another blog 2010, not online)

"Are you here for the corporate event?

"No I'm here for ice cream."

And that's the beginning of a very disappointing afternoon at Kimball's Farm.
Once upon a time I was no stranger to Kimball's Farm. My parents took me there and yes, there were long lines. Over the decade though it has grown. Country store... driving range... nine hole golf course.... balloon rides... mini golf... bumper boats... a seafood shack... exotic animals... and an arcade.
Am I missing something?
Honestly the ice cream wasn't great. It wasn't what I remembered as a child. I had better just earlier this week at another stand.Kimball's Farm isn't a farm. Still $7.50 per a person for a bumper boat ride? $11.50 per an adult for miniature golf? I have no idea what some of the other things costs, but I did go through 20 dollars quickly in the arcade.

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