The neighborhood will largely cheer when hearing the news that the Hyperion Avenue Silver Lake Trader Joe's expansion into the shuttered video store next door is complete. It's been open since Friday, July 2.
But after the initial excitement and disorientation passed today (it's weird getting to re-learn your previously super familiar local grocery store), the bittersweet nostalgia kicked in.
Sure, there might be 14 check-out aisles, plenty of wandering room, and expanded shelf space. But gone are the murals showing local landmarks: Dodger Stadium, Travel Town, the Observatory. In its place are other trying to be "funky" eclectic images that don't have the neighborhood feel of the former decor. For all its shortcomings, I've always preferred this pre-mega-chain, old school-feeling TJs, for better or for worse.
And instead of being named for the area's signature streets (Rowena, Griffith Park Blvd., Hyperion), instead the registers are numbered. Boring! I asked if that will stay, and it appears they're working it out during the transition. So there's hope yet that this more distinctive system might return.
Shop your hearts out, folks. But beware -- more TJ's square footage doesn't mean more parking. That's for you to manage. On your way out, mention the changes we'll miss (I can't be the ONLY one who will), and maybe your favorite Silver Lake, Echo Park, or Los Feliz street will appear by a register someday.