There used to be two Taco Bell stores within a hundred yards of each other when I used to live off the southern end of Hamilton road. Eventually they closed one of the stores, leaving the one next to the Ohio BMV building open. It's in a horrible location; there is really only one way in and one way out and it is cramped. I tried one of those new grilled steak taquitos; nothing spectacular. You really can't taste the carne asada steak, just the cheese and you are encouraged to dip the things in guacamole, sour cream or salsa; three overpowering tastes. Hey it's only fast food, right? One hundred and ten fat calories later I'm sitting here wondering how dark and dreary that part of town has become.
I think the Service Merchandise was the first to go a long time ago, then the Phar-mor after that. Anybody remember Service Merchandise and how you walked around with those clipboards and when you wanted something you wrote down the catalog number then let someone process you then went to exit to get your purchases off the conveyor belt? Fun. That whole section is just dead now; pitch dark. The Good Year center is also closed. It used to be a great place to get tires until the screwed up an oil change; two extra quarts of oil in the crank case and a missing transmission fluid dipstick. More fun. Well, it's dead too. The compact disk store I used to buy all my metal music at is gone. What was the name? Twenty clicks on their card got you a free CD, which was awesome until I found stores on The Ohio State University's campus area. I could always get my music there cheaper and at a downright bargain if I waited for the used discs to roll in. I think there is a Toys R' Us back there. I used to go to Media Play for blank tapes and crap but I'm not sure if it is still there. The BWC building is shut down. The adult bookstore and a strip club are still there. Both AMC theaters are closed. The Big Bear and Central Hardware stores are long gone along with most of the shops in the immediate area. The tuxedo rental place when I got a tux for my friend Terry's wedding is gone along with the golf shop and photo store.
On the bright side, the Olive Garden still does well and there is an Ocean "something" restaurant close to it. Pizza Hut still seems open even though I admit to never having gone there. Papa Johns seems to do okay in the building that used to be a Rally's and a long time ago a Ritzy's that I worked at for a one day special event.
Of course, there is Eastland Mall. Lazarus turned into Macy's then shut down and Macy's took over Kaufmann's almost immediately after it was built. The food court has been rebuilt which is a good thing. I have purchased leather jackets from the same store under three different names. Now that store is gone.
I'm shocked at the change in the area I used to call home. It's just dirty, dark, dreary and depressing to look at.