Cora Potter’s challenge to the Lentils, FoPoians, and Arletans to shop primarily at business east of SE 60th, with extra points given to those venturing even farther east, has been a pleasant wakeup call. I’ll admit, my own biases and local ties keeps my money in the neighborhood already. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t take pleasure in what Division has to offer in the way of food, or Hawthorne with used clothing. So I took the challenge to heart, and I’m hoping many of you do, too.
To aid in the effort, Neighborhood Notes’ Chris Young published an article discussing this challenge, with a slight urging for other neighborhoods to consider something similar.
But don’t do it simply because you feel you should. That motivation can only last so long, and it can certainly strip you of freedom and enjoyment. If you think about what the challenge entails, though, you’ll see you have a great deal of choice and power when carried out with the right goals in mind. This isn’t a sacrifice we’re talking…if you can’t stand burgers or Thai food, don’t suffer because you’re intent on shopping local. Rather, go to the tienda or produce stand to get some ingredients for a nice dinner at home. Or, if you’ve found the restaurant you do like, and it has good service and food, support them so they can survive and prosper and stay in the ‘hood…even if the alternative on Belmont might be a tad better. The goal here isn’t to make your dining or shopping experiences less pleasant, rather we’re trying to keep our local economy moving…and someday, hopefully, thriving.
And that’s where your choice and power comes in. You can help dictate what businesses stay in our neighborhood, or not. And to that effect, if you’re keeping your money in the neighborhood, you can help guide what businesses enter the locality, as there will always be someone willing to provide a service or product where the demand and support exists. And that’s where you come in…and where the challenge should be met.
Ways to support the local economy on Foster:
- dine at one of the many restaurants in the neighborhood instead of heading north or west to closer-in n’hoods
- get your produce from Portland Fruit company or the Lents International Farmers Market
- consider getting your food/groceries from one of our asian markets, tiendas, Russian bakeries, or butcher
- art supplies, home repair, and gardening needs can also be found locally, too
Please feel free to share other ideas and/or places for everyone to meet the local-shopping challenge….