So the long weekend started a little slow, inspiration wise.
"Sir Guy By The Canal" rightfully pointed out that there are things out there to write about and they're not all doom and gloom, "look how the regime is messing with the peasants" topics.
A stroll through town on such a beautiful afternoon brought us to West State Street and the restored "Roebling Mansion," now home to the New Jersey League of Municipalities. Although not the most elaborate or elegant of the proud collective of manses which once huddled along that stretch of road, it's good to see this link to Trenton's past saved and put to use. Nice to know the efforts of the Historical Society and other concerned citizens were able to prevent the building's demolition.
Walking by the Roebling Mansion reminds one of the deep, two way connection between John A. Roebling and Sons and the Trenton community. What was good for one, was good for the other.
But Roebling is gone now. Swallowed up and then, ultimately, shut down by a larger, national corporation. The same story can be told of our once booming rubber industry and our world class porcelain manufacturers.
Now we're seeing a second wave of closures and relocations. As noted previously, landmark food based businesses are shutting down and/or moving out (Michelle Lorie's, Marsilios, Sal De Forte's, Tattoni's, etc.) There is a license transfer for Cesare's Cafe on this week's City Council docket. But it's not just restaurants and such that we're losing.
While running errands the other day, it was noted that Broad Street Hardware is on the market. No doubt the location of three Home Depot's and two Lowe's in suburban Mercer County have cut into sales at locally owned Hardware Stores such as this. But the loss is another sign of the City's declining economic health.
Saving our local businesses is just as important as saving our historic buildings. They are an integral part of the fabric of the City. They contribute not only to the local economy but to that all important sense of place.
When these small businesses close or move, employment opportunities and ratables leave town with them. So think twice before you spend that dollar out of town. The job you save might ultimately help save this city.