… till it’s gone.

(Aka: “A continuation of random train of thought from this post.”)

The Tribune was the most recent (and most personal business) whose recent closure gave me pause for reflection.

Gourmet magazine is closing, too. I had just started my subscription, and they had just won an award for best website. …  Sol Y Sombra was my favorite place to get tapas. … Awhile back, I noticed that Movies on Central had gone dark. The gay-owned video store on Central Avenue offered everything from mainstream comedies to foreign films to documentaries (and, er, allegedly, porn).  I found an explanatory note online that said that light rail construction had decimated its traffic, and having vowed off Central for that very reason, I can see how sales would drop precipitously because of it.

But here’s what struck me most: It closed in summer, and I didn’t notice until three months later. It’s easy for me to bemoan its loss now, but I wasn’t being a supportive customer when it was open — and especially when it needed me most.

I’ve read some comments about how it was a sign of the times — who rents from a store in the era of Netflix? — and how if it wanted to stay relevant, the owners should have turned into something like a giant RedBox. But that’s not really the point.

Redbox is great … if you’d like to choose your foreign film from only 12 pre-selected options total.  Netflix is great if you would like to pick your movies ahead of time and hope enough people haven’t cock-blocked you from your selection.

But if you wanted to rent “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Another Gay Movie,” that night … or if you didn’t know what you wanted, and you wanted to wander up and down until something caught your eye — and pick up an Echo and an IonAZ and some red licorice on the way out — you went to Movies on Central. (And probably stopped at Unique on Central to look at cards and clothes and magazines and candles.)

It wasn’t solely a lack of support that closed Movies on Central — the note I found also laid quite a bit of blame on the shopping center, which jacked up the lease rate to take advantage of the now-open light rail access.

But it did remind me to patronize the places I like more often, in an effort to direct my spending money toward places I want to stay open.

It’s easier to cut my own hair in the bathroom, but after I realized that Deb had given birth to her son and conceived and delivered another child, too, since I had last visited her at the salon, I knew it was time to book an actual appointment. (She’s got more mouths to feed!)

I can’t remember the last time I ate at Grazie, but now is the perfect time of year to enjoy the patio.

I remember falling in love when I wrote about the woman who started Anastasia’s and even though I don’t have anyone to buy lingerie for, there’s gotta be a sugar scrub or something I can spring for.

It’s time to get off my ass on Saturdays and head to the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, where local growers offer everything from honey to beef to (strawberry basil) sorbet.

It’s not about spending more money, it’s about redirecting it to where it can make the most difference. It’s a little more effort, but it’s bound to be worth it.


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