mom and popThe best ones have a funny but pleasant smell to them, and are a little bit weird. And that’s just how we like them on


Before shopping malls, before box stores the size of Yankee Stadium, before shopping online, we had Mom & Pop stores.

Mom & Pops could be anything from your local luncheonette/candy store to the butcher shop, hardware store, grocer or haberdasher, to Butch Murphy’s Transmission Express, which sells used cars but doesn’t fix transmissions anymore, but everybody sort of knows that, and Butch is too cheap to spring for a new sign anyway.

Sometimes Mom and Pop were joined behind the counter by their kids, cousins or in-laws, and you might be treated to a lively family spat or two while you shopped, maybe asked to take sides. They hired neighborhood people to fill any jobs they had over and above family members still on speaking terms, who usually ran the store while Mom and Pop traded insults in a foreign language.

You knew them, they knew you and they knew your kids’ names, and ordered the stuff they knew you’d buy, as well as the things your kids will hound you into buying. Mom & Pops are not entirely a thing of the past, and every avenue in every town still has them, still catering to neighborhood clientele and sharing their lives on the avenue. Shop local and improve your own life.

•Suggested Activities: Arguing with Marty down at the lumber yard over the Mets’ chances this year.

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