Friday, February 17, 2012

Living Above the Shop

I visited my insurance agent yesterday.

He's been my agent for years and his office has been in a variety of locations. This was my first visit to the latest one and on the street just outside his door I could spot the distinctive Nash Metropolitan that is his guidepost.

The office is in a relatively new building on a charming street that had been an area to be avoided. The bottom floors are businesses and above them are condominiums; in fact, some are connected so you can live in the two floors above your shop. Although that arrangement is common in other cities, it is new to Phoenix and it may do much to keep people in the areas where they work so business locations can double as residential neighborhoods.

Years ago, when I worked in downtown Phoenix, it was well known that the place was deserted by seven in the evening. Once past that hour, you could see a second shift take over - a rough bunch you would not care to meet - and working late was dangerous. I sometimes wondered how much productivity was lost due to people who decided that burning the midnight candle was not worth the potential cost.

Living above the shop has a multitude of advantages.

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