Saturday, April 12, 2014

Goodbye J&R

It is with great sadness that this crusty New Yorker conveys this. I should have seen this coming. First the oldies section disappeared, then the records. There are those that love Amazon and the turd of a CEO Jeff Bezos. The factories where the workers assemble the orders are as close to sweat shops as one get.

I miss the old dusty book and record stores. No doubt there are those who miss other forgotten parts of our life like diners with a competent soda jerk. Actually, this is a lost art and I still craft an oldie or two for the daughter upon request.

I miss the mom and pop stores and the small merchant. The days of knowing the guy who ran the hardware store or pharmacy are a thing of the past. We are not better as a society when local institutions die and are replaced by yet another frozen yogurt place or endless sandwich shops. If you have the luck of living in NYC Lennys is the apex of this genre and Potbelly is acceptable. On principle I will not eat in a Subway where the food is dreadful.

I will remember the joy of hunting for gems in J&R. Finding that rare nugget was always a joy that a person of my age will remember.


Duckys here said...

If I want a good soda fountain I just go to Colleen's in Medford square.
Still a number of good used book stores in Boston.

If NYC is so hot why is it that you are touting chain fast food outlets?
Myself, I couldn't live some place wher you can't get decent cannoli.

Duckys here said...

And now there is no place in Manhattan to buy music?

Hasn't been one in Boston for some time.

Convenience has a price. I fear it's a more serious price than we realize as downtown will soon be lousy fast food joints and Amazon kiosks.

Duckys here said...

All the more reason to value Bull Moose Music in Portsmouth.

These places are getting scarce.

beakerkin said...

Actually, most of the time I eat out
in the same family owned Greek Diners. I go there for the homey type of atmosphere. On any given week I can be found in the same chair about three times a week.

Fast food is part of the popular culture and I view it as both cultural literacy and as a potential investment.

Sadly, I agree but part of this is economies of scale. To start a fairly simple business like a dry cleaner costs about $600,000 in capital.

At a certain point how healthy is it if Amazon controls 80% of publishing outside best sellers which can be found in warehouse clubs. It is not healthy for the industries it serves. Moreover,
Bezos is a sweatshop owner. The conditions are deplorable and a high tech mystique doesn't hide inhuman practices.

Soda Fountain creations are a dying art form. Even in the diner beyond a malted, egg cream and the basics there isn't much. Sad but perhaps the quality and workmanship of some of the elite brands has detracted from the crafting. Even store brands have more than basic flavors like some cookie dough and rocky road.

I miss family owned places.