Circumstance required I schlep to the Bronx two days last week, with Siri doing her best to help me find the fastest route.
But she’s not from the Bronx!
Ignoring my navigator I eschewed the Cross Bronx Expressway preferring the streets of the Bronx where I was more likely to avoid the highway's notorious traffic, and find a good Cuban sandwich to eat along the way.
The Cross Bronx Expressway is a macabre monument to Robert Moses and his infamous assault on the neighborhoods of the south Bronx.
While never elected to public office Moses was a powerbroker, holding as many as 12 appointed positions simultaneously in New York in the years after the second world war.
Looking to connect Manhattan with its growing suburbs and white-sand beaches, both located on Long Island, Moses insisted on building the 6.5-mile six-lane Cross Bronx Expressway, rather than constructing mass transit, which was generally favored for its lower costs to construct and efficiency in moving people.
Moses choosing to run his highway the shortest possible route, straight, through the center of the 13 Bronx neighborhoods between Manhattan and the highway’s eastern terminus.
The misplaced highway cut off residents of the neighborhoods from their jobs, shopping, public transportation and other essential services. The Cross Bronx destroying the Bronx’s economic engine, in the name of shortening the commute for wealthy New Yorkers looking to reach the beaches.
It has been estimated that construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway has cost the Bronx more than 600,000 jobs.
Within a decade of the highway’s completion in 1955, the South Bronx was in decay. Within 15-years the area was blighted. With crime, poverty and abandoned buildings replacing the once-thriving middle class neighborhoods of the Bronx.
The borough paying penance for Moses’ vanity!
No Rest for THE Weary
Paint dealers I spoke with this week shared the ongoing saga of ongoing high demand for architectural coatings, in an era of product and labor shortages. Their revenues increased on average of 30% despite those shortages.
And while inflation in the price of paint comprises a significant portion of that increase, gallon sales continue to increase among the dealers I speak with.
The demand for coatings remaining high, despite some troubling news in new home construction.
And while the rate of new-home construction may portend a troubling economic horizon, demand for coatings from the DIY, smaller contractor and “rezi-repaint” consumers who frequent independent retailers remains strong.
That continued high demand for architectural coatings prompting one manufacturer I spoke with to express continued concerns for the “availability of raws.”
THE Missing Pods
I was recently approached by two paint dealers, each looking for my help refining their business plans. The dealers looking to capitalize during the pandemic-fueled economy.
Working collaboratively with these dealers I’m developing plans to add store count and market segments to help these dealers grow. With the addition of more paint lines, hardware and décor all receiving consideration.
One dealer and I going through a six-month thought experiment, re-envisioning his life and business.
Combined with my commitments to PaintCare, the extra hours spent with these dealers cutting into my podcast-making time.
The preceding, my explanation for the recent paucity of new episodes.
The choice between making paid and unpaid content, is really not a choice.