Bank fair fare

After who knows how many months of construction (certainly as many as I've been working in the neighborhood), the Commerce Bank building finally opened for business on the corner of Montague and Court streets. There is an incredible amount of fanfare and assorted hoopla, with a clown on stilts, a caricature artist, and a free(!) hot dog vendor all doing their thing in front of the building, in addition to the more traditional sign-up tables offering free pens or t-shirts. There is an Independence Bank two doors down that got into the act with a Dixieland band and popcorn machine of their own. Me, I find it hard to get excited about free checking, but all the goodies are kind of cool. It's all a throwback to the Great Panini Giveaways of a few months back, where you couldn't walk a block down Montague without being offered a lunch's worth of free panini samples from the Garden of Eden and from City Market. If that's the price of gentrification, hey, sure.

Meanwhile, the Citibank keeps to itself at the other end of the block, quiet, concealed in its shroud of scaffolding, plotting. Always plotting.

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