I’m not a person who is averse to change. I can appreciate the need for progress.
I provide this caveat only to say: I’m not usually this guy. You know, the guy who grumbles and bitches every time something minor in his community changes.
But dammit, the local grocery store just stepped in it again.
Hartman’s grocery store removed a communal seating area and their ancient rickety mom-and-pop stand up piano. Here is Spacing Ottawa’s Evan Thornton on the scene via Audio Boo:
OK,OK I can hear my friends now:
“Really, Ian…what’s the big deal? It’s a piano. They own the store. Let them be.”
Oh, I wish I could. But this piano thing is really bugging me. Why? Because, despite being Centretown’s only grocer – Hartman’s lacks a sensitivity to the community that supports it. From their insensitive comments about the Village to the “community kitchen” that is barely in use – it’s not a store singing in tune with the neighbours.
More specifically here are my main reasons for being disappointed in the Hartman’s management decision to scrap the piano and seats:
- Getting access to a piano is tough; this specific instrument – while never in tune – was frequently used by at least four players. I always admired the Hartman’s folks sticking with the piano through all the renovations. It was a highlight.
- That old rickety old mom-and-pop piano was part of the Hartman’s brand; while I’m sure no one one said “I go to Hartman’s for the piano.” it sure did brighten my day when music was being played.
- The seating area was one of the very few places all kinds of people sat and conversed: white collar and blue, with home or without. Working or not in the area; folks talked around those little tables. The price of entry was low – a small item or drink – but the value to the community was immeasurable.
photo by Knitnut
Editor’s note: for a story about just how much the music at Hartman’s meant to some area seniors see the excellent Knitnut blog post linked to from the photo credit. The Facebook group created to bring the piano back is here.