Before I completely erase the original purpose of this blog, I'd like to revisit the subject of the "real small business". One of the reasons I never made as much of this project as I could have - besides the fact that I'm a chronic procrastinator - is that this kind of small business is going the way of the Eohippus. I almost wrote "slowly but surely going the way of the Eohippus", lured by the siren song of the cliché (you know, clichés like "siren song"), but the progress is by no means slow. Real small businesses are dropping like flies.
When I conceived of the idea, I already had a mental list of businesses I would feature; of those businesses, about half have closed. The first place I featured would have been Wahrenbrock's Book House, downtown on Broadway. Next very likely would have been Hillcrest Stationers. APD Business Machines, who shared the title of "only places in town to get typewriter ribbons" with Hillcrest stationers was another. These places all have something in common with each other and most of the used book stores in town. Can you guess what it is? Off The Record still exists, kind of. When I go in there now, I'm mostly just depressed by the memory of what Off The Record once was. Likewise, San Diego Hardware isn't really San Diego Hardware anymore, and it's not just because they aren't in the San Diego Hardware building anymore. (But at least we got another American Apparel!)
There are still shops of the sort I had in mind around in San Diego, to be sure. Racine and Laramie Tobacconist*, North Park Hardware, Marie's Café, The Black, Perry's Café, Liberty Tobacco, and undoubtedly many more whose names escape me or that I haven't discovered yet all deserve your business. More than that, they need it. At the risk of sounding sappy or whiney, if you've ever bitched about how things aren't made well anymore, or how the help at retail establishments is incompetent, or how huge, corrupt corporations fuck you or anyone else over, you need to vote with your wallet (thanks cliché sirens) and spend the buck extra to buy a better product from a better shop.
*Due disclosure: I worked at Racine & Laramie for many years.