‘We are lucky to have a downtown'

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:58

    To the editor: Yesterday in the village, I ran into an acquaintance who asked if I could recommend a book to help him to improve his parenting skills. When I suggested two, he thanked me and said he’d pick them up later in the week when he goes to the mall. I was momentarily baffled. We were less than a block away from The Bookstore. I said, “I am quite sure Michael has both books in stock, I saw them there the other day.” His reply was that they would probably be less expensive in Middletown. At that point, I admit, I got a little testy. I asked him if it would still cost less if he factors in the price of gas to run that big SUV of his. I asked him if he ever thought about the benefits of spending his money right here in his own community. I pointed out that unless he supports our local businesses, they will not survive. And how much will that cost us all? After marching him down to The Bookstore, I went home, shaking my head. The phone rang and it was a dear friend. She had a quick question about a recipe, but didn’t have time to chat because she was on her way to Staples to get some things her kids need for school. I worked really hard to calm myself down before suggesting that she shop at the Inkwell. She said she was sure she’d find everything she needed at the bigger store and it would probably be cheaper. I always buy all my kids’ school supplies (plus my own office supplies) at the Inkwell and I described what a pleasant experience it is as opposed to the long lines, crowds and nonexistent help at the megastore. I also pointed out that the Inkwell, like The Bookstore (and many other stores here in Warwick), will order any item you need and call you when it arrives (usually within the week). I mentioned the price of gas as an increasingly important consideration. I asked her when was the last time she shopped in the village. She said it was when her parents came to visit for the weekend. They found our little community so charming! I asked her if they would still find it charming with boards on all the doors and windows. I am aware that it is currently impossible to find everything you need to live right here in our community (too many of the merchants who once sold day-to-day items were unable to afford increasing rents), although I have been boycotting malls and superstores for years and I am doing just fine. For many more reasons than I can mention here, I believe it is imperative to try to fill my family’s needs (and wants) locally. We are lucky here in Warwick to have a downtown, but it can’t survive without us. Please join me in supporting our community. Buy local whenever possible. Please. Dr. Deborah Bernstein Warwick