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Shopportunity! by Kate Newlin

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Visualize a long, wide, flat stretch of pavement. At its center is a triangular wedge of dirt, encased in concrete. This is a tiny Eden, perhaps seven feet at its widest point, but it is nonetheless a carefully landscaped and tended garden. Picture blue spruce and dusty millers, yellow daylilies and creeping juniper. See the hemlock too. We are in a deserted parking lot. Perhaps three cars huddle here, near Troy-Schenectady Road, only a mile or so from the larger and conspicuously full lot shared by Wal*Mart and Home Depot, even nearer the New York Route 87 exit ramp.

But this apparently abandoned site is not a lackluster entrant in a quest for price-sensitive shoppers. What was once ...

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