The Plant

The Plant Shopping CenterMy father’s first construction job after moving my mother and brother from Idaho in the early 1950’s was at the General Electric Motor Plant on Curtner Avenue and Monterey Road in San Jose. When the company he worked for kept him standing around doing nothing, he quit his job after two weeks because he wanted to work. (That didn’t please my mother since she wanted to spend his paycheck whether he worked or not.) General Electric eventually shut down the plant some years ago and a real estate developer turned it into a new shopping called The Plant (which reminds me of a Stephen King story by the same name). I went there to check out the new stores and marvel at a piece of family history.

I got a ten-dollar gift card from OfficeMax to use at their new store at The Plant. Much of the shopping center is still under construction. Only the big box stores—OfficeMax, Target, Toy “R” Us, Best Buy and Pet Smart—were opened. From the distinctive orange paint on the largest building, I suspect Home Depot will open soon. I keep wondering how many Home Depots one area can support with the real estate market tanking from the sub-prime mess.

Or, if you want a real brain teaser, why does every shopping center has a nail saloon?

I guess people still have money to burn in Silicon Valley. I certainly don’t. I stayed out of Target as I usually spend a hundred bucks whenever I go in, I didn’t need another DVD from Best Buy, and I’m sure I would have gotten something for my tropical fishes if I went into Pet Smart. The OfficeMax store was nice, clean and better organized than their typical store. I got a box of envelopes and a few other items that came to twenty bucks after I used the gift card. I may come here in the future, as this particular store is a short freeway hop from my home.