Friday, October 30, 2015

Another Non-Post on Plainfield

Well, I have been sitting here several hours waiting for the brain fog to lift and it hasn't happened.

A commenter just said (at 3:06 a.m.) what I have been thinking: The "Post Taken Down" has gotten hundreds of page views and many comments. Maybe I actually do better not posting.

But seriously folks, the only things that have come to my bummed-out mind have to do with the insularity expressed by some Plainfielders who seem to want the city to be self-contained. Create jobs in Plainfield, buy everything you need in Plainfield, Plainfield for Plainfielders.

At the same time, the camionetas leave the city every day and so do the trains and buses full of workers. The city has some supermarkets and a lot of bodegas and corner stores, but residents must cross its border to get everything on the shopping list. And Plainfielders will argue indefinitely over who are the real Plainfielders, starting with how long your family has lived here and then slicing and dicing the ethnicities.

I contend that there is a large core of individuals who have chosen to live here because of Plainfield's diversity, although a certain mayor once declared only a black reporter should cover the city. More recently, Latinos from a dozen countries have become the new entrepreneurs in Plainfield, while black enterprise is fading.

As for jobs in Plainfield, look at how many office buildings are vacant. The Urban Enterprise Zone program in part requires business owners to add employees, but a 2011 state report found only 107 of 731 eligible businesses were registered, likely in part to being unwilling or unable to meet the requirement.

I know I am rambling here. My point is that Plainfield is not the be-all and end-all entity that some desire and expect. There is no moat, no drawbridge to keep strangers out and Plainfielders in. New people are here, with more on the way. As for jobs, many nowadays require new skills that could be acquired here, but once trained, young Plainfielders may still strike out on their own. Shopping will not be confined to the city as long as there are older people or professionals who need more than urban gear.

That's it for now.



  1. What we truly need are some major corporate businesses to come in and invest in the city. Like you had mentioned, I'm not going to buy my work clothes in Plainfield, I'm going to get them at a major store in a town that supplies what I'm looking for. For lack of a better location, I'll use Westfield as an example. Unfortunately that town fulfills that need for myself and others... Plainfield does not. That's the significance of constructing something like the South Avenue Gateway Project. It signifies a start for major companies to take a closer look at real estate in our area. For example, if let's say Starbucks notices a larger demographic for their product now exists in this area of Plainfield, they might be encouraged to build a location in the "Gateway" area. It would funnel not only Plainfielders, but outside neighboring towns to come in and do their shopping here. If people are hesitant to come here to shop, bring them in slowly from the outskirts of the town. (where the Gateway Project is proposed) If they like what they see, some of those consumers will likely be willing to explore further into the town to see what we have to offer. It seems like simple economics to me. We really don't need to pay companies to do an "analysis" to figure this out and waste more time and money. I don't understand why there's so much opposition for evolution in a town that is truly ripe for change. Why the fear of having new groups like "yuppies" move into town? Wouldn't that bring progress? Isn't that something we've all been looking for? So frustrating...

  2. It is so frustrating. A friend of mine lives in Detroit. She said for so long there, the powers that be said "no" to all development. They were scared of it. It might break up their corrupt mafia. I think we have the same problem here.

    Now there is a new mayor in Detroit and he's saying "yes." If only our city council could say yes.

    Bernice, please don't stop posting. I come here for sanity. You are a very valuable citizen of Plainfield.

    Tim Kirby

  3. Even your non-posting is great!