Hoodometry

5 Dec

The scent of Rudy’s signature chicken wafted throughout the rattling city bus.

“Mmmmmmmm,” I moaned while hungrily sniffing the air.

The culprit was a young girl with burgundy hair hunched over the front seat, guardedly nibbling away.

Gotta love it.

In Dallas, many jokingly dub it Rudy’s  “crack chicken,” because on any given day at any given time, rain or shine, passersby will find a faithful line of customers weaving down the meager restaurant’s stairs and a constant stream of cars in a drive-thru queue that almost always spills out into the bustling street.

Let me be frank. The restaurant itself is nothing to write home about. There’s no place for sitting so customers are forced to purchase their food and flee. And the service won’t win any awards. But that delicious blend of deep friend well-seasoned chicken, tenders and fries makes it all worthwhile.

I wonder how much the place rakes in on a given day. Certainly more than its shack-esque building let’s on. The stuff is not cheap. For my favorite, a 3-piece chicken tender meal with fries runs about $5.

How much of my neighbor’s paychecks flowed into businesses like these, small, tidy cornerstones of the inner neighborhoods of Dallas. Restaurants, nail shops, beauty salons and supplies.

I was reminded of Carter G. Woodson’s assertion in The Mis-Education of the Negro. He basically said that so many people of color bypass open opportunities right before their eyes in search of more luxurious, glimmering routes to success. Many rush from the urban ghettos to the plush corporate skylines in search of what already resides next door. Meanwhile, outsiders that realize such opportunities for profit and sustainable practices rush in to the fill the void and offer services that the poorest and most vulnerable of folk can’t and won’t do without.

I am guilty of the same. A couple of years ago I met a guy who was in mortician’s school. Despite his great personality and attitude geared for success, I couldn’t help but wrinkle my nose at his career-choice. Sorry, but there’s nothing glamorous about dead people. Likewise, there’s no cache for the chicken restaurant or barbeque joint owner. Nothing implicitly enviable about the guy that owns the local beauty supply or mechanic shop.

But these are the types of businesses that will never die. They are protected from the fickle winds of trends and fashion. For this reason alone, they are worthy of a second look.

I’m certainly doing a double-take.

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2 Responses to “Hoodometry”

  1. Mao's Army December 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Same for male stripping, that type of business will never die.

    Like

    • lcooksmarketer1 December 6, 2011 at 1:39 am #

      Hahahaha. Lmao. Hao!!!!! It’s true. Stripping in general is timeless and recession-resistant. Gotta love it.

      Like

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