by Trudy Fitzsimmons
Shopping on Main Street, Northport the other day was a terrific experience. This downtown has been a favorite of mine for many years. It has waterfront, history, a beautiful park, and lots of shops and restaurants. At the top of the road is The Engeman Theater, which imports Broadway talent to Long Island. I used to go to the 99 cent movies there. Raise your hand if you did, too.
Ok. I can’t see you, but you know what I mean.
My first stop was right up by the Engeman at the Firefly Artists. There, I found two birthday gifts and a fabulous framed photo. I also learned from Katie, who’s a proud member of that cooperative gallery, that last spring they managed to raise enough money for a scholarship to help a Northport student in the arts AND to give several local high school students and their teachers an opportunity to display their work. They're on view now! In addition, they just had a great event giving a number of other local artists the chance to experience the fine art of print making – on a LARGE scale.
That's what I love about our small businesses. Most of them are anything but impersonal. What you find is unique, frequently very well made, and often much more reasonably priced than you might think. Many of the best are as much about community as they are about commerce.
There are many shops like this in Northport, and in the other down towns that Long Island has been fortunate enough to nurture. This PSA from our friends at the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce explains a little bit of why that helps all of us. Please consider them when you decide to make some purchases. Supporting local shops helps our local economy, and keeps our down towns alive. Not only is it interesting, but it is FUN!