Monday, December 14, 2009

Within a three-block radius, there are no fewer than four businesses selling ice cream, gelato, and/or frozen yogurt. The families go for ice cream, the dates/gourmets go to the gelato place, and everyone else (especially those with gym memberships) go to the frozen yogurt places to watch their weight.

Every time I come home and walk down this street, the businesses are selling new things, things I haven't always heard of, and usually things that I imagine I would never buy. This is how I can tell that this street is robustly business-savvy: not only are there businesses every few feet, but when they shut down they (usually) are replaced within weeks by another business selling something else. They are often selling esoteric things to appeal to the esoteric tastes of the strollers, things like "foot reflexology" (for which there was an information kiosk). The new smash-hit sensation, since about 2008, has been tapas, kind of the Spanish version of sushi, which I have not been able to bring myself to eat. Each tapa costs between $8 and $10, and apparently you are supposed to order several of them.

The only thing preventing this street from falling into gourmet strip mall chaos is that its "small town atmosphere," often touted, is solidifed by the ceremonial presence of certain anachronisms. A church, a cobbler, with an actual metal shoe sign, and an antique shop that supported McCain in '08.