Back in the Seventies I spent chunks of a couple of summers with my grandmother in Gananoque, which has a population of about 5,000. Most mornings after breakfast, we would go "upstreet," which meant walking a couple of blocks up to King Street.
We would go to the post office (there was no home delivery at that time) and then maybe the Bank of Montreal, the hardware store, the baker (for apple tarts) or the drug store. Grandma would always chat with the merchants, and invariably, we would run into a few people on the street and stop to say hello; the essence of small town living.
Here in the CHill, we live about a twenty minute walk from Franklin Street (Presidents substitute for royalty in the US) and it's just a little too far to be part of my regular errands. We will walk up to a restaurant on occasion, and I do visit the post office once in a while, but it's not quite the same as the old days, a change that is neither entirely good nor bad.
Today was the last meeting of the BG's reading group and I decided to go upstreet after it was over. The school is on the western side of downtown, in Carrboro, so it's more like a 45 minute walk. After I finished at school, I stopped in at the garage to make service appointments for the cars, got a haircut and went to the post office. I resisted the temptation to stop off at the Krispy Kreme for Elevenses and made a mental note of the new Korean fusion barbeque place, which had a sign advertising "Gangnam Style Chicken."
Home by 10:30.