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In Support of Rye’s Longtime Merchants
Rye has an historic downtown, with an old-world New England feel (despite being in New York). Yes, it has great schools and, yes, it is conveniently situated 25 miles from midtown Manhattan – these are the major reason that Rye draws so many of New York’s most successful professionals.
Part of what makes Rye great lies within its local retail establishments. Very few towns have such diversity in terms of local shopping, particularly as it applies to food. For the second time in three years, however, an over-hyped supermarket has opened in the area, much to the chagrin of Rye’s local food purveyors.
Rye has a bakery. Rye also has a pizza place – a few of them actually. Rye has a world-class butcher. We also have a mom & pop produce store. Not to mention a beverage mart that has a great selection of craft beers. Rye has a top-notch wine store. Rye also has an ice cream parlor, a frozen yogurt shop, and a smoothie place.
So, when another supermarket comes in and tries to sell all of these items, true locals should be insulted. Why try and change a charming town by waging war against its small businesses and mom & pops? This is an affront to the local merchants, and serves as a microcosm of what is a national trend.
Whole Foods is the perfect example of why one should avoid shopping ‘big’, and support the little guy. They have a disturbing cult-like following who ignore their misgivings. Whole Foods was recently in the news for overcharging customers on prepackaged goods in some of their New York stores. Seems convenient that the average pricing difference was in their favor. Whole Foods also recalled curried chicken that was contaminated with listeria. This recall applied to a number of stores in the Northeast, proving that at least some of their pre-made foods are not made in-house, and are distributed from a central facility. People do not want to believe that their Whole Foods employs the same supermarket tactics as many of their predecessors.
Yes, Mrs. Green’s is impressive aesthetically, and their food may, at the moment, be fresh, but later on in their business lifecycle they will undoubtedly lower their standards to cut costs. Such is the way of the supermarket.
I am certainly not calling for an all-out boycott of the supermarkets that operate within Rye and the surrounding towns, but am recommending that consumers be conscious of their buying behavior and of potential repercussions. Sure, whenever there is a ‘new kid in town’ everyone is intrigued and acts interested. At the end of the day, however, it is the local merchants who give more to the community than the supermarkets; they help form the unique identity of Rye’s shopping district that is unlike any in the metropolitan area.
My to-do list for Rye’s citizens is as follows:
Buy a cigar from The Smoke Shop and a sundae at Longfords;
Buy a slice at Sunrise or Al Dente, and a steak from Crisfield’s;
Buy your veggies from June & Ho and get your coffee from Patisserie Salzburg;
Do your part in supporting small businesses in our great town.
— Dan Johnston
A Wakeup Call for the Rye GOP
The results of the November 3 election, which resulted in two Democrats being elected to the City Council and the Democratic incumbent reelected to the County Board of Legislators prompted to me write. These results should be a strong wakeup call for the Rye Republican party.
As a 50-plus-year Rye resident and a lifelong Republican, I have been dismayed and discouraged by the lack of cohesion and non-productive conflict among the Republican candidates for office. Conflict, which, in the past, caused a dissenting group to present a third-party slate that included very qualified Republicans.
To me, this demonstrates an inability to reconcile differences between strong personalities who may have disagreements on particular issues, but an agreement on basic philosophy — a clear sign of a lack of leadership. We have just seen a prime example of this on the national level, with the Speaker of the House resigning and the election of a leader more open to opposing views. Maybe it’s time to do the same at the local level.
The overused, but nevertheless true saying that “all politics is local” certainly applies to Rye with a small, but informed and interested electorate. I know two of the three women whom were elected, and we clearly have different political views on the national level, but this is local. I know from personal contact that they have the best interests of the community at heart and I have every confidence that they will serve with that in mind.
Perhaps if the Republican leadership works towards reuniting the party more very qualified Republicans will be encouraged to run for office again.
— Frank A. Fariello