Snarky newcomer opines, basely


Posted 11/21/23

Is there any scenic, quaint and charming town in any impoverished drug-ravaged county in New York or Pennsylvania that doesn’t cry out for a curated cocktail/housewares store where you can buy …

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Snarky newcomer opines, basely



Is there any scenic, quaint and charming town in any impoverished drug-ravaged county in New York or Pennsylvania that doesn’t cry out for a curated cocktail/housewares store where you can buy a dog pillow for $255? I didn’t think so.

In discussing such delightful little towns, by law, quaint must be used in every paragraph.

These villages don’t need stores where full-time residents can buy underwear that is not christened lingerie. For less solvent natives finding themselves going unintentionally commando, Family Dollars/Generals/Trees are conveniently located within five miles of each other and well outside of the quaint shopping districts. Where they won’t, as Delia Ephron suggested the blue color of NYC’s bike shares would, bespoil the ambience which brings tourists and their money in, but prices long-term locals out. 

Scenic Delaware River hamlets don’t need Chinese takeout restaurants. No, they need olive oil specialty stores. And a tattoo parlor or two. Farm-to-table distilleries and small plates/art gallery/craft beer emporiums. Cideries! Gift shoppes, with extra Ps for Pretentions. Of course another antique store. Even if there may already be three on one street—though to be fair, since it has both an “upper” and a ”lower,” it’s really two quaint streets. 

New book stores must be sparse and curated, preferably by celebrities that live here, or visited the area for a weekend, or have a six quaint degrees of Kevin Bacon relationship with the Upper Delaware Scenic region. 

There is no need for public garbage cans. If someone trying to solve the garbage problem (the problem being that garbage exists) suggests a public dumpster, the horrified locals—perhaps even those who proudly proclaim that if strangers try to mess with them, their guns and their acreage mean those bodies would never be found—would and did protest “but the {part-time} homeowners will use them!“ Or maybe tourists, who are generally without personal trash receptacles, would. But dumpsters are not quaint at all.

Try to put an unquaint convenience/gas station/small cafe on a highway 10 miles out of town at the second nearest stoplight and beware the wrath of newly rusticated residents who will protest vigorously, in fear that its convenient yet certain-to-be-garish appearance might have a desecrating domino effect, not to mention that a modern gas station would be an insult and competition to the decrepit one across the street.

But offer to bring in a new chain wine and cheese bar, and the owners of other high-end businesses on the same street will support you in zoning meetings because, no need to follow those pesky zoning rules if they are holding up quaint business development. 

If you prefer perhaps to gawk at autumn leaves among farms instead of beside rivers, you’ll be happy to learn that the town over thataway has many of the exact and exactly quaint stores. 

Though not exactly the same cheese products, because, as the cheesemonger, asked if they carried any sheep cheese like petit basque as Trader Joe’s does, sniffed, “We want to be a bit more unusual.” Which they demonstrate by carrying two differently aged manchegos, far more unique and quaint than the local grocery, which only carries one manchego and doesn’t even say how long it was aged. 

 If you can quaintly imagine.

snob, snarky newcomer opines basely, quaint, small, town, curated


4 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Aaronhicklin

    Take a chill pill darling. You can shop at Walmart for your books. It's not sparse there at all - Aaron x

    Tuesday, November 21, 2023 Report this

  • katand

    I’m not exactly sure what I just read but I did not enjoy it. Might it be better to ask: “what am I doing to contribute?” To the author, maybe add an addendum that shares what you’re doing to help your town and all of its residents other than just talking about it. It’s not an easy undertaking to start a business here regardless of where you hail from. All we can do is talk about how we can help one another and let our neighbors know what we need. I found this article very unproductive and dismissive to those that are involved in sharing what they have to offer here in Sullivan County.

    Tuesday, November 21, 2023 Report this

  • Robert Nudd

    What did the bad person do to you, Leah?

    Your observations, though often spot on, carry a bitter tone. The topic you've chosen is obvious and a local cliche. The subject cries out for clever satire. Erma Bombeck would have struggled to effectively pull it off. Your take on the matter, in my opinion, fall short of the mark, and seems more inflammatory than entertaining.

    The bookstore bit was particularly troublesome. It was an easy joke, but at the expense of a business that is truly unique and undeserving of your seeming scorn.

    I've enjoyed reading about your acclimatization to our area, Leah. I think you can do better than this.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2023 Report this

  • smschwartz

    Funny, well written and appropriately snarky!

    Wednesday, November 22, 2023 Report this