All shopping is local - Thankfully, communities are getting the message and going all out to shop at and support local businesses. The notion of getting offline and out of the big boxes and chains is getting traction. If you can't fight 'em, as they say, join the mission and do your shopping locally. It's becoming more and more popular, including here in Yorkville. To jump start a tradition and hopefully a trend, Community Board 8's Small Business Committee and Yorkville Buy Local are co-sponsoring and hosting "Small Business Saturday" this Nov 30, right after Thanksgiving, with a tour (from 11 a.m. to 2:30p.m.) of some of Yorkville's local businesses, like Schaller & Weber's, which is the oldest, and Logo's Book Store, which has been in the neighborhood for years. Others, like Le Grand Triage wine shop, which is the newest, and City Swiggers, are more recent. There will be goodies like free tote bags, fun treats, and some discounts. The tour will begin at DTUT, a wine bar on Second Ave between 90th and 91st, and will end at a local pub where you can learn a little bit more about what Yorkville Buy Local does. Any other businesses that want to provide coupons or discounts for the goody bags, can do so. Just email yorkvillebuylocal.com. Tour. Shop. Local.
Another local endeavor promoting small businesses is coming to East Harlem's La Marqueta at 116th and Lex, which is hosting a First Ever Harlem Night Market on three Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The event was organized by Uptown Grand Central, NYC Public Markets, The Best of Harlem and Buy Local East Harlem. Newly renovated, the first-ever night market will have food and beverage vendors, local artisans and entertainers. Saturday events are Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from 4 to around 10 p.m. Shopping and being entertained in the same local venue is a good way to spend Saturdays in December.
Eleven years of Cindy Adams's Blessing of the Animals - As always, Cindy's Annual Blessing of the Animals is coming to Christ Church at 60th and Park Ave. on Sunday, Dec 8th, from 2 to 3 p.m. In its eleventh year, Cindy's blessing event celebrates all pets who bring their people. Dogs, cats, gerbils, maybe a goldfish, maybe a parakeet. People with pets, pets with people are welcome. Co-sponsors of the Blessing include the John and Margo Catsimatidis Foundation.
Verizon's victims - Buildings are replacing copper wire with fiber-optic cable in residential buildings and complaints have been coming in from East Siders that the new wiring interferes with the ability to use rotary phones. Let's not forget that there's a large older population in NY whose old-time rotary phones are their only lifeline to services, family, friends, 911 and 311. In many cases, the phone (albeit rotary) is the only access they have to the outside world and their only means of communication. Let's face it, those elders with rotaries aren't likely or even able to develop the technological skill or capability to use modern phones.
So Verizon's threats to their elderly customers, that "Service will be cut off unless change is made to more updated phone technology" is not only bullying and unconscionable, it's not doable for rotary users who are unable to adapt to the consequences of the new cabling. And Verizon's threat to cut off service to these residents very well may be age discrimination. With its vast resources, Verizon can reasonably dedicate some of their technological know-how to developing an accommodation to the aging class of telephone users.
Reader readback - In response to a recent column item about bus riders with young ones who occupy seats instead of laps while elders are left standing, Stuy Town's Hazel Roslyn Feldman, wrote that "Seat entitlement" bothers her, too, and noted that "Subway riders have the same bad habits as those riding buses. The 'me' generation never left; now all generations are afflicted." And in response to the same item, Dr. Loosen gave a "Tip o' the hat on (my) swipe at bus manners" and advocated for "no tip for that taxi driver." Too late for that ride, Dr. Loosen, but lesson learned.