Monday, August 29, 2011

Helping Our Local (Waterlogged) Businesses (by shopping)

I am nestled quietly in my bed, my Mac is plugged into the wall, charging as I type. The television is on in the background, and my fan is whirring loudly. I have power. Thankfully, I have power. While I do have to take my Adirondack chairs back outside from  the shed, and my few hanging plants, I had little personal distress as a result of the storm. There's a tree limb hanging on the net of my son's trampoline, but otherwise, I have no damage. There isn't any water in the basement, thanks to a French drain and a sump pump, my loved ones are okay, and our refrigerator only suffered 5 minutes without power.

W's house, too, is unscathed. No flooding, no damage, no loss of power. We both feel very blessed. All of our family members are fine. One had a tree crack in half and just miss hitting her house. It hit a power cord, and she lost power temporarily, but is otherwise okay. Another has a stream running through his backyard that wasn't there (well, the stream was there, but it went from being a little one to one that's taken over the lush, grassy backyard). Mostly, though, we are all in good shape.

Others weren't so lucky. Trees are down, and half of my town (and W's) is without power. Some towns won't have power for another week. The center of downtown Denville is under water, and nearly every business in town is privately owned. We spent lots of time in so many of these shops and restaurants, and have gotten to know the owners well. I cannot imagine what they must be feeling right now.

When Broadway opens back up (it's still closed, along with most of the roads going into downtown Denville, including Route 46), I urge you all to go visit the places you shop and dine at, and offer your moral support, if nothing else. When these shops are back in business, shop and dine there often. (I especially love The Second Half on Main, Denville Diner, and Sergio's.) Don't shop at the mall, or buy mass produced things online. Shop locally. Our businesses need you! Besides restaurants and shops, there are hair and nail salons, places to exercise, laundromats, a health/natural food store, hardware stores. There's a yoga studio, a place to paint ceramics, a photography studio, shoe stores.

Boonton is another great neighboring town, and it's dry! For those who don't have power, dining out in Boonton is a great option. Get your coffee at Bobby's or Heavenly Temptations. Eat out. Try Chili Willie's for Mexican Food, or Roma Pizzeria and Restaurant for an Italian food. There are excellent soups and salads (desserts, too) at Heavenly Temptations. Go shopping for clothes at Lotus Boutique. Visit all the cute shops you may have never been to like Savannah Hope Vintage, Papyrus Home Design, and Moody Blooms (a new flower shop that also has plants and home goods). For fun, you can get a tattoo at Electric Lotus Tattoo & Piercing, or go see an old movie at the Darress Theatre. Have a beer at the Boonton Avenue Grill or Johnnie's Tavern. There's so much to do. They even have a farmer's market on the weekend.

In this tough economy, I know that it's sometimes easier to spend a little less for something mass produced in China. However, getting something of quality from a shop that is independently owned will help our economy, our towns, and will feel good. As someone once told me to do, vote with your dollars. Or better yet, Put your money where your mouth heart is.

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