Friday, August 10, 2012

The Village

I Love New England for its villages and town centers. There are many that instead of a strip or road side stop, have a center of town that more then 5 roads meet at a point.

A good center of town has a town green at its crossroads. Needham, Dedham, Dover, Natick all have a village and a meeting spot for the town folk to shop and do business.
Unlike a strip or roadside stop, Southern New England has villages.

I like to slow down and look around when I come to a center of town. Each village has its own personalty and story to tell. They had a reason for their existence. Some farming and others manufacturing. I like to take to take the time to observe. Find the story and cherish it. Like finding Gold!

The Raleigh Roadster is the perfect bicycle to enjoy such a spot. Its as if it was designed with stopping, shopping and exploring in mind, Like a rolling metal sculpture, when parked, its a thing of beauty. Standing alone or leaning against New England architecture, it adds to the picture. It looks right.

For some, the Village is merely a road. Their goal is to get through the village as quickly as possible. Head down and in their own world. Having places to go and things to do make cars and bicycles alike simply traffic.

Back when everybody knew your name, it wasn't necessary to travel to the next town to buy things. The village had everything one might need. Travel between towns was light, like Europe.

Now a days shopping for things has been taken away from the village. Shopping Malls in the 60's took business away from the small center of towns and made it nearly imposable for "Mom and Pop" shops to exist. Now with internet sales, unless you find a tourist town, its almost impossible to find a good small hardware store, Bakery, or shoe shop in any Southern New England town.

Bringing back the small shop would require paying full price. Discounted items are killers to a small business. There is a reason all the small shops closed and its not just that drivers don't slow down and want to go where there's parking.

I enjoy the Village. For me, "The best deal in town" is to be able to return to a store and have it open. Run by folks that love there job and their customers. Stories shared and jokes told. The Village is a place where real life exists.

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