Monday, November 27, 2017

Ain’t like it used to be

A CRABBY OLD man walked into the store Saturday and said he was “just lookin.” I don’t do well with crabby old men, mostly because I’m turning into one myself. He said, “Things downtown ain’t like they used to be.”

He was born and raised in Quincy and left, came back, and left again. “It sure went downhill downtown. Never came back, either,” he sniffed.

I stared at him and said, “Actually, downtown has come a long way in the past few years. We like it here and we do well here.”

Then I walked away and went to Ally’s next door, but they were so crowded I could barely walk in the door, and they were out of mimosas already. I came back and the crabby old man was still in our store.

I invited him to the tree lighting ceremony in Washington Park. I hope he was there, because the park was jammed and it was very cool.

Look. I get it. Before Broadway, downtown was the place to be. There isn’t as much stuff down here and we have perceived and real issues, like parking and empty storefronts. Long gone are the days of huge crowds spilling out onto sidewalks, and we will never have Black Friday insanity down here (a good thing, actually).

Crabby old man left, and Steve Rees of course calmed me down by pointing out it’s a matter of perspective.

You can sit in glass houses and sing Glory Days until you are blue in the face. Or you make your place the best it can be. Everybody pines for the good old days .... even though they are right here, right now.

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