Lady Liberty, hot dogs, and etc.

A sure sign that you live in a blighted, low income area is that there are a number of income tax preparers around. In our neighborhood it is Liberty Tax.  Unsurprisingly, there are eight of these in Norfolk, the Queen City of Blight and Low Income.

It is well known that these tax prep places are basically loan shark operations preying on poor and underbanked areas. I think a while ago I linked to this fine Mother Jones piece about this, it is worth reading.

I think it is very possible to live in certain enclaves in American and not think much about tax prep places like this. It sure isn't possible in a place like Hampton Roads.

My question is how the dudes dressed as Lady Liberty gyrating next to busy intersections make people want to go in these places.  I see this everyday when I drive to and from work, a man (always a man) with headphones on, dressed in green robes, gyrating. Why does this work? Do the dancers share the gowns?

Liberty Tax is proud of the dancers. They say, on their career page, that if you are a Lady Liberty dancer you "Set the strandard, improve each day and have some fun."  Liberty tax identifies itself "As a leader in guerrilla marketing tactics, [because] we're known nationally for the thousands of wavers dressed as Lady Liberty who sing, dance and wave to passersby, attracting customers to our local stores."

Speaking of blight and low income areas, I was saddened to see that The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King has not just shut down, the building which held it was torn down. The Original Tony's was a serious Norfolk institution serving the most beloved food of the area, which is the hot dog. yes, the hot dog is the beloved food here even though they are hot dogs made in whatever shithole mkaes these things. It does say a lot about an area that the hot dog is the local delicacy, no?

That all said, it always produced melancholy when an institution disappears. And The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King, just a quarter mile from my hot dog-free home, is now gone. R.I.P The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King.

Here is a nice image of the building in its heyday:

The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King was in a building directly across the street from the empty lot which once held Tony Jr's Original Hot Dogs, which was a hot dog cart in an empty lot surrounded by a fence and loose guard dogs. I never quite got that concept, the hot dog cart made inaccessible by mean looking, fenced in dogs surrounding it, but there it was. I think there was a schism between The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King, and Tony Jr, which led to the cart a cross from the building. Tony, Jr disappeared a few years ago. Now The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King is equally just a memory and a pile of rubble (not a cliche, they really did tear the building down and just leave a pile of rubble. I will post a picture of it.

Here is a fan page someone put up for The Original Tony, The Hot Dog King. The black and white impedes full appreciation for the yellow siding and faded hot dogs.

One is adivised to never read the restaurant inspection reports on restaurants.

Tony's Hot Dogd (not the Original Tony) is elswhere in Norfolk and is a rough place.


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