Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Open Thread #11

Have at it.

Topics covered: Barnes and Noble, Borders Books, the price of textbooks, sprawl, the southward growing of cities, University Village and the possibility of a hotel and a Starbucks coming, Chipotle vs. Qdoba

23 comments:

Charlie said...

Got into a conversation with one of the gals at Barnes and Nobel this morning. She must have been hungry, as she related how anxious she was to have Texas Roadhouse opening. :o) Enough about eateries, tho, for the moment.

I was surprised to be greeted by a uniformed police officer at the entryway to the bookstore. (Reminded me of the tragedy of a few years ago, when the same sat at the entry of Victoria's Secrets...and caused me to ask questions.) Turns out the students are back for the second semester, and buying textbooks. The store asked to have an officer present, taking into consideration the high cost of required texts. The officer related that at least two purchases yesterday totaled a thousand dollars, and most were b/t six and eight hundred.

I'm holding one of my old textbooks from 1965---The American Tradition in Literature, 3d Edition, all 1761 pages...and the price is quite visible: $7.65.

I know education is expensive, and the cost of ignorance is even moreso...but...wow...how the college folks manage now! And to think that B and N realize their charges are exhorbitant enough to warrant hiring a uniformed guard...just in case!

The world has changed...more than ever before, it's about money. Sorta causes one to stop and think for a bit.

GrandForksGuy said...

Charlie, I was in B&N yesterday to buy my textbooks and the officer surprised me a little. It reminded me too of Victoria's Secret a couple of years back.

I was lucky this time. I only have one class this semester and the six books for it (yes, six books) only totaled a little over $90. Cheap!

The long lines at B&N yesterday made shopping at the store totally out of the question for any non-students. I really think we need another big bookstore in GF. B&N is a great university bookstore, but another B&N or a Borders on the south side would be a great community bookstore.

Anonymous said...

I have actually been in contact with Borders and they are one of the only businesses that didn't state flat out we will never have a storefront in Grand Forks and seemed genuinely interested.
As the southend grows we shall see...

Matthew said...

I'm so sick of the south end.

Why do you people want to sprawl all over the land?

dale said...

Why do you people want to sprawl all over the land?

Um... because this is North Dakota? What, we're supposed to build skyscrapers and live in crowded conditions?

If you don't like the south end, then don't come here and patronize the businesses where ever you are. If enough people chime in with you, that area will grow.

Charlie said...

RE: Southend development
Maybe it's just me, but I've always thought it interesting that many cities develop earlier and more heavier on the south end. Granted, we have our West Fargo's and the like, but think of the initial development of cities like Winnipeg, Minneapolis and yes, Grand Forks.
Anyone else ever have the same thought? And if so, any idea why that would be? Curious, only...

Anonymous said...

UND hinted that there would be more announcements about University Village developments with a "few weeks" in early December. Nothing has been disclosed.

What will be built? A hotel is almost a given from what I've heard (Marriot Suites or Cambria Suites), but what about the new urbanism apartment/retail developments? Much of that area is supposedly reserved for higher desnity development.

GrandForksGuy said...

Charlie, very true. Minot is another example of a south-growing town. Perhaps it has something to do with our latent desire for a warmer climate in this part of the country? We shun the cold of the north and long for the sun of the south? Who knows.

Anonymous, it will be very interesting to see how University Village develops in the near future. A large hotel development is almost a certainty and I hear proposals are currently being negotiated. I'm sure we'll hear something this year. I'm looking for a multiple story, high-end hotel. Sounds like it would probably go right north of Suite 49 and may even be physically connected to it. I too have heard about Marriot and Cambria.

You're right about the higher-density, mixed-use developments. The university has been planning something like this for the northeastern corner of the property, from what I have heard.

Brooks said...

It would be great if what's left of the Bronson property was used for 3+ story buildings. Even if the business es were only on the first floor, more apartments like the ones going in the new strip mall would be very convienient. If the new hotel in that area was a taller one (5-8+ stories) that would be a great anchor.

daniel vincent john said...

perhaps they should ban smoking in more bars.

mattfacingsouth said...

Well, Minneapolis is growing in a lot of directions, but I think locally it has a lot to do with where the industry is located.

Anything new wants to stay the heck away from Simplot - look at the retail and culinary success that's surrounded that place. Snort.

It may have something to do with being upstream from said industry as well - at least from an historical perspective, you know, before sanitation and water treatment got modern.

I'm from Sacramento - most growth there was to the north and east until just recently - that's upstream along the American River (now it's a free-for-all).

I dunno, just an observation.

Anonymous said...

I heard that there would be another Starucks in the University Village soon.

Coffee Guy said...

Thank God for the south end of GF. We certainly wouldn't be in this town if it wasn't for the sprawl.

GrandForksGuy said...

I heard that there would be another Starucks in the University Village soon.

Praise the Lord!

By the way, where did you hear this? I'm assuming you're talking about the second strip mall going up at the Village, right?

JGS said...

I think University Village needs a Qdoba also. :)

mattfacingsouth said...

Still waiting for a Jamba Juice. If we get one, I may never leave.

Coffee Guy said...

JGS said...

I think University Village needs a Chipotle also. :)


Fixed that for you.

dale said...

JGS said...

I think University Village needs a Chipotle also. :)

Fixed that for you.


I thought the two were the same thing. Seriously, we were in downtown Minneapolis a year ago, and Patti took us to Chipotle... I took one look at the menu and said "How come they don't call them Qdobas down here?"

She married me anyway :-)

Coffee Guy said...

dale, one taste and you'll see why. I'm not kidding. Chipotle=best carnitas in the business.

At Qdoba everything has a slimey texture. Plus, they have bad customer service. Well, at least the GF one does. Grumpiest staff in GF.

wolfgf said...

"Why do you people want to sprawl all over the land?"

I agree. Why don't developers start reinventing/renovating existing areas of the city? That doesn't require "skyscrapers or living in crowded conditions," as someone mentioned. It does make use of existing infrastructure and cuts down on commutes.

JGS said...

Plus, they have bad customer service. Well, at least the GF one does. Grumpiest staff in GF.

I don't know about you, but I think the service is great. Not once have I encountered bad service there.

And honestly, I have yet to try a Chipotle. I know they're very similar to Qdoba but right now I'll put Qdoba on top of the list at this time. :)

Goon said...

I am psyched if they put yet another Starbucks in town. Yes.
Can never have enough starbucks.

I guess I am not all that thrilled about having more development in my part of town, its getting to the points where there is not where to just get out with the dog and walk. They have houses sprouting up every where.

Well at least my bank will be within walking distance.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, can't WAIT for the new rhombus pizza place to open up downtown! Anybody know any more details about the place? Seating? Decor? Etc?

Mmmmm.... pizza...