(letter to the Editor published in the 11/1/2013 print edititon)
Keep Mountain View Weird
I am really saddened that after nearly 3 years, the City and the Developer have still not found a way to leverage one of Mountain View's greatest assets: the Milk Pail. It also doesn't make a lot of business sense.
Our family moved to Mountain View in 1999 from New York City (Upper West Side). After a few years in Mountain View (then in the Crossings where we could walk to the Milk Pail), we decided to sell our New York home.
We researched the market and looked at many ads for comparison. When describing the location, none of them mentioned the nearby Gap store or the convenience of a Starbucks right at the corner, while nearly all of them praised the closeness to the many local odd one-of-a-kind stores: Zabar's, Fairway, Citarella, Barney GreenGrass... even a "Cheese and Antiques (non edibles)" store down the block.
Developers in New York City are notoriously ruthless but I can not imagine any of them ever trying to displace any of these unique stores. Instead they embrace them, piggyback on the foot traffic they generate and leverage their cachet in their marketing material.
Mountain View is not Manhattan but I don't understand why we couldn't display the same business acumen by preserving the Milk Pail.
Maybe it's time for the City to proudly adopt the pro local business slogan pioneered in Austin and Portland: Keep Mountain View Weird