Ho there! I am a humble laborer at Cooper & Watson Ironworks, and though my life is filled with sweat and toil, I await the day this factory will be filled with vegan hibachi restaurants and boutique cocktail bars.

I awake each day at dawn to pound away at rods of molten ore knowing that, one glorious day, this foundry will shut down and be refashioned into an industrial-chic dining room with a little Greek place and a doughnut shop where they make the doughnuts right there in front of you. Though it shall be many-a-year before this grand vision becomes reality (I presume sometime around the summer of 2014), and I shall be long dead… a faded memory… I work in the knowledge that my labor will not be in vain.

Each strike of my hammer against the raw iron will pave the way for a cute but slightly overpriced first date spot! Each man who loses a limb in a piece of industrial equipment is laying down his own body for the future revitalization of downtown!

O, the pain and drudgery I have seen in this new land! Unwashed children hired off the street for their small nimble fingers, men reduced to the most revolting work by their want for bread alone! Though I have survived two factory fires, three boiler room explosions, and a cholera outbreak, and despite the fact that my wife and seven children must share a single bed in our small tenement, I refuse to lose hope. I foresee the coming of a better world! A world where the masses who occupy this city will not be made to feed on coarse gruel! A world where you’ll have to be fourteen, perhaps even fifteen, before you begin to work at the factory, and where you can get a smoothie with a hemp protein infusion and try an assortment of regional cheeses all under the same exposed brick.

For this part of the city is, at present, filled with desperate immigrant laborers like myself, but soon, after what I assume will be a period of urban decay and rampant crime, it will be transformed into a hip neighborhood full of artists and people in finance! Where will these monied bohemian-types eat? At home? A tavern perhaps? No! They will flock to an upscale community eating space where they could try a new dish every time if they are feeling adventurous and willing to spend twenty-five dollars! O, the splendor! The glory!

Gadzooks! My foreman approaches. Enough of these daydreams! I must return to the incessant hammering that fills all my mortal days, but I trust in a future full of locally sourced ingredients and fusion foods!