I had a beautiful neighborhood experience yesterday when I stopped by the fragrant Blue Meadow Flowers on E. 13th for a chat with one of the owners, one of the long-time Motherfolk still in the neighborhood.
We were talking about the slowdown in business and all the empty storefronts as he prepared for the Valentines rush. He explained how the local, longtime residents, friends and fellow businesses are the ones who keep businesses like his going when the glossier ones are going under.
And I realized that I have made a shift as well in my patterns of shopping and everyday life, without really noticing. Whenever possible, Ive pretty much pulled out of the chain stores - Duane Reade in particular, in favor of local establishments that carry the same goods, like Robin Raj.
Though its a bit more expensive, I WANT my local healthfood store to stay in business, and feel the same way about Whiskas, Halloween Adventure, Trash, Gothic Renaissance and all the singular shops between here and Houston Street.
Same for Cafe Orlin, Veselka and a small cadre of local bars including Section 8 and Nowhere.
So, remember to keep it local, and feel free to plug local favorites here, whatever your neighborhood..