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Wednesday, December 03, 2003


I am fortunate to have a local bike shop along my route home, Bushey's. I have stopped once or twice when I was shopping but I have yet to need them in an emergency, and hopefully I never will, but it is good to have them along the way. There is also an LBS in the next town over, Holmes', only a mile or so out of my way. So I can have access to either, via bicycle, if need be. Knowing what kind of businesses are in your town can tell you a lot about the personality of the place. So it seems that the area bodes fairly well for biking, though the absence of a bicycle rental facility especially seeing as how Riverfront Park is the perfect place to have a family ride, and the emphasis on touring, road and mountain with a distinct lack of emphasis on commuting cycling, makes me wonder sometimes.

A cousin of bicycle commuting, under the parentage of sustainability, is vegetarianism and ethical shopping, so it pains me to see businesses related to those principles lost. The veggie restaurant Avatar's, which used to be in my town, closed this summer before I even had a chance to dine there. I just never made it the few times we dined out since moving here just a few months before the closing. I have visited the downstairs natural grocery market a number of times though, which is still in business.

And now the 10th Muse in downtown Harrisburg, a bastian of ethical and locally produced artistic products, is closing its doors due to lack of patronage. I was fortunate enough to be able to be a patron earlier this year, and to take part in a small arts festival they sponsored too. Anyone looking for a replacement might try the Freehand Gallery on Market St in Lemoyne across from Subway.

It is not heartening to see these types of businesses close especially when it is from a lack of business (as they are not really competing with many other similar entities), and when they are so accessible being in downtown business districts which have lots of other activity going on. I encourage everyone to learn more about the benefits of vegetarianism (try the Vegetarianism Resource Group) and buying local (try Co-op America), habits good for everyone in our communities.

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