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Get lost in the moment: Shop locally

By Joe Parker

President, Bird Rock Community Council

It’s April and spring is in the air. By now most of us are getting used to the time change and enjoying longer evenings. Living in these beautiful surroundings is certainly highlighted by the good weather during this time of year. Nevertheless, by anyone’s measure, we continue to be challenged by a tough economy. And like the change of seasons, our local merchants are not impervious to the inevitable cycle of economic climates. In Bird Rock, we’ve seen a few doors close this year, and it is possible more will come. How can you prevent this? Shop locally!

Take advantage of the nice weather to stroll down into your business district and support our local merchants. They need our continuing patronage to see them through these tough times.

Whether we realize it or not, our merchants do more than just run businesses. They help define our community and provide a “third place” away from home and the work place. A “third place” can be your favorite coffee stop, a lunch or dinner bistro, or your favorite store to shop or obtain services. It’s that familiar comfort zone where people meet and enjoy the simple luxury of a moment in time away from their busy lives.

Do you know where your third place is? If you don’t already have one, chances are you can find one on La Jolla Boulevard, in the Village or down by the Shores. Think about it. Our business districts, with their walkabout proximity to our homes, give us that rare opportunity to enjoy spontaneous fellowship without ever having to make a call, send an e-mail or even a text. How many of us drive to downtown San Diego, hoping we might see a friend or neighbor, without ever making a call? Not many. If you live in the neighborhood, you can enjoy this simple convenience without even thinking about it.

Remember the time before cell phones? Many of our interactions were not planned, but were merely events of chance because we had no other choice. It’s that freedom of interaction that puts people in a similar comfort zone when strolling down to your favorite haunt. On any given day you can visit a friendship, rekindle an old one, or even make a new one. Our local merchants provide that venue, and we should thank them for taking the chances they do during these difficult times.

So get lost in the moment and shop locally. You are not only helping someone else’s family, you are helping our community maintain its unique character and charm.