Milwaukee Avenue hygiene

August 26, 2008

Yesterday, marketing expert/author/speaker/etc. Seth Godin posted a piece, More vs. enough, about the application of Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory .

There are applications for Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square.

Herzberg’s work, concerning attitudes on the job, shows that there are two factors at work: motivation and hygiene (I know, I know; stick with me). Motivators or what may increase satisfaction are things like
challenging work on the job, or low prices at Milwaukee Avenue stores.
Hygiene factors or what may reduce dissatis-
faction are things like job security in the workplace or the cleanliness of Milwaukee Avenue.

Milwaukee Avenue merchants and property owners must address both satisfaction through prices and products, for example, and the absence of dissatisfaction through, for example, cleanliness and maintenance.

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Re-investment and reasonable rents

July 31, 2008

More with Dulce Ramos

I have more to share of my interview with Dulce Ramos, owner of The Pump Room Boutique, a shoe store located on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square from 2003 to 2007. I lost recording of a part of the interview, so Dulce’s words are interspersed below in my own recap and commentary on some of the things we talked about earlier this month.

Building conditions

In addition to outgrowing the space at the original location of the The Pump Room Boutique at 2727 N. Milwaukee Avenue (see An interview with Dulce Ramos), a pipe had burst in the building, warping and damaging the painted floor that had contributed to the unique feel of the store. The building owner was supposed to pay for repair of the floor, but never did. The floor was never repaired, the painting never restored, the feeling never regained. As bad luck would have it, not even a new location at 2630 N. Milwaukee Avenue cured water problems for the store. Read the rest of this entry »


A bad sign (Part II)

July 7, 2008

Sign of confusion

It appears that the windows below would meet the city’s sign standard requiring 60% transparency on “Pedestrian Streets” (see Sign, sign, everywhere a sign). The business below moved a couple of storefronts down a few years back, and in doing so it overcame its previous problem of a Sign of a lack of urgency. But still I find the clutter of signs unattractive and distracting and therefore detrimental to the success of Milwaukee Avenue as a commercial strip. I don’t even see how the sign clutter is beneficial to the merchant. One of the rules of good signage is legibility. Too many messages distract the potential customer. Keep it simple. Read the rest of this entry »


Spring cleaning

June 20, 2008

Shop your choice

Which store would you rather shop? This one?

Food4Less \

Read the rest of this entry »


Take the Cheetah challenge!

June 11, 2008

Grace’s Furniture/Cheetah Gym building

The first building of prominence as you travel north on Milwaukee Avenue from Logan Square’s square (BTW, it’s not at all square, but oval in shape–and may be a topic for a future post!) is the former Grace’s Furniture building.

Some may know this as the location of the once future Cheetah Gym Logan Square location. The hope of what was once heralded by many as a welcome addition to the Milwaukee Avenue corridor seems to have all but vanished from the landscape. A recent check with the manager confirms that there are no current plans to open a Logan Square location of Cheetah Gym. [Update: Cheetah Gym is on again! (See One step backwards, two steps forward on Milwaukee Avenue.)]

The loyal opposition, on the other hand, who feared the impact of the Cheetah Gym (you know, more people on–and the revitalization of– the street) and loathed the introduction of a non-(hyper)local business Read the rest of this entry »


Broken Windows theory (Part II)

May 29, 2008

Broken windows/gated windows

Gated Windows

Quick! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see this storefront on Milwaukee Avenue (right)? Do you feel safe? welcomed? enticed to come back during normal business hours?

As I wrote in my previous post, Broken windows/ dirty windows, windows don’t have to be literally “broken” for the “Broken Windows” theory to apply. There may have been a time in the 1960s and 70s, and even the 80s in Logan Square, when gated windows were a necessary defense against property crimes in the city. I don’t know; I wasn’t in the neighborhood then. If there ever was an appropriate time Read the rest of this entry »


Broken Windows theory (Part I)

May 27, 2008

Broken windows/dirty windows

The “Broken Windows” theory (James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in the Atlantic Monthly, March 1982) says that:

… if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken.

Lack of attention to the “broken windows” sends the signal that no one cares.

While Wilson and Kelling wrote in the context of crime, order and policing, let’s talk specifically about order–or the sense of it.

Would you rather shop, locate your business, invest your money, or engage in any positive activity, in a well-kept and orderly environment or one that’s dirty, dingy and/or dilapidated? I’m afraid the latter is Read the rest of this entry »