Shopping Local

Record Store Day

It’s April 16th, you know what that means! Happy Record Store Day!

The music shops don’t open for another couple hours, but in many ways, I feel like I went to the best vinyl shop in town last night, my grandparents.

My grandparents just moved up from California, and as it turns out, my grandfather was an avid record buyer back when. I’m talking 4 or 5 boxes of LPs, 45s, and 78s. I almost cried it was so beautiful.  (more…)

Taking a Local Day

How formulaic do our lives become? It’s both good and bad, I suppose. We take vacations from the norm, only to get sick of the vacation and return to our norm.

I heard this statistic the other night and I can’t get it out of my brain:

96% of all Americans spend, on average, their whole lives indoors.

Upon hearing this, I wanted to run outside and skip through a field of daisies; I don’t even like daisies. I wanted to dig a garden, walk to work, and ride a hot air balloon around the country with a monkey named Charlie.

I decided that I needed to prove this statistic wrong.

So the next day, I went on vacation in my own town.

Extraordinarily, I was free from work and school. After an invitation, I made my way down to Doma Coffee and partook in my first ever “cupping.” The perplexities of smelling, breathing, and tasting coffee for hours on end was unusually delightful. For the first time in my life, being a “sipper” actually came in handy.

I learned how to pick fragrances out of coffee like apples, leather, chocolate, and “corn flakes.” I got to know the Doma guys a little better too. We talked about current coffee markets, espresso machines, and good beer. It was great.

After overstaying my welcome, I traveled back downtown to The Long Ear, a local record store (yes kids, those still exist). I traded some CDs in hopes of stocking up store credit for the upcoming Record Store Day. While there, I searched through the vinyl bin and “smoozed” a bit with the staff.

I was reminded me of the hours I’d kill at Boo Boo Record’s in Grover Beach, CA (RIP), where I’d search endlessly through the used CD bin and sticker bucket. Oh the days of my youth…

After The Long Ear, I went back home, recorded some music, waited for my wife to get home and then did a little shopping at my work, Pilgrims Market.

As the day grew late, I reflected upon my day. It was unique and more than usual. There were two things that made it different:

*I made time for myself

*Every business I entered was locally owned

So take from that what you will. Do you feel that you need a break from the norm? Take a local day for yourself and discover what your town has to offer.

Stay out of Albertsons, keep away from Wal-Mart, and for God sakes avoid McDonalds. Corporations and franchises exist only to capitalize off of consumer’s fear of the unknown. It’s funny, but the more I stay out of these businesses, the more I seem to enjoy the area I live in.

Try supporting only local shops for an entire day; take a walk and get outside. Maybe, you wont even need a vacation after all.

My goal this spring and summer is to get outside more, shop locally, and continue to discover my town. Why else would I live here?