Monday, November 22, 2010

If they sell it, we will come.

They say Rome wasn't built in a day. They could also say that Philadelphia's Spectrum wasn't torn down in a day - or month - or a year.
In the longest-scheduled demolition in modern architecture, it is rumored that The Spectrum will finally succumb to the wrecking ball Tuesday at noon. By then, I suspect that everything inside the building (including the parts of the building itself) will have been sold - or at least they would try to sell it.
It was closed on October 31, 2009. Since then, several schemes have been hatched by the owners to systematically both sell everything that wasn't nailed down and rid the public of some more of their money. I'm not sure if their shameless sales say more about corporate greed or the public's willingness to spend their money on crap. Maybe both. A match made in heaven.
They have been marketing Spectrum seats for at least a year. You can buy a pair for your - living room? I suppose die-hard's are putting them in their man caves. I hope, at least the Spectrum sent the seats out to have the fabric dry cleaned before they were sold. Considering the number of asses (both literal and figurative) that have sat in those seats, I'd guess they smell like old fabric and stale beer.
Then, they started selling what they told us was water from the Spectrum ice in plastic drink coasters. I suppose the idea was to put the coaster in the freezer to help keep your drink cold while it was sitting on the coaster. I also suppose that it was yet another way to squeeze another buck out of a willing public.
On November 6, they had yet another public yard sale, offering an "all you can carry" sale for $25. Anything you could cart out in one trip could be had for 25 bucks.
At this point, I'd be interested in seeing what the inside of the place looks like. The clever (and profitable, no doubt) marketing gimmick minimized the amount of demolition, which no doubt decreased the price of trashing the place. So, not only do they make a buck off the crap in the building, but they save in the end. That's why they're businessmen and we just read and complain about it.
The latest money grab involves buying a souvenir brick from the demolition for $39.95 plus shipping. That's right. What do you suppose it costs to mail a brick? It has to be close to the selling price. Mail a brick to somebody and let me know what it cost.
We're told that the wrecking ball will start swinging at noon on Tuesday. Not to be outdone, they plan on a little party while the ball swings. Dollar hot dogs and soda in a last attempt to squeeze the sponge as dry as possible. Ironically, the site will be turned into a huge sports bar, and I can only hope it gets built in less time than it took to tear down the old place.
But first, they'll need to suck the remaining air out of the building and sell it in containers for $29.95. Spectrum air. Blow up your kids' balloons with the same air that the bottle flew through that hit Steven Tyler on stage during an Aerosmith show in 1978.

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