Before I start ranting, today's Daily Special is Unlock My Secrets, a beautiful key necklace in earthy orange.
Now, on with the rant. While I was dancing yesterday, I got a phone call from my Mom. She was at Chivalry Sports (aka the Renaissance Store), our local Ren Faire garb shop. They were in the process of going out of business and Mom wanted to know if I wanted any of the belly dance patterns that they had left.
Now, I can handle the fact that my own business is molasses-slow because of the economy. I'm fortunate to be in a position where I don't need to sell my jewelry. What makes me mad is when awesome niche businesses have to close down because no one has any money left to spend on their hobbies.
Chivalry Sports was an awesome store. You could go in there and walk out with breeches, a tabbard, a chemise, an overdress, whatever you needed, and it would be sturdy, well-made, and in most cases, you could throw it in the washing machine and dryer. Because my tastes run towards belly dance clothes, I didn't have much of their stuff, but it was our go-to place for my husband's garb, and I also got my mirrored black skirt there.
By the time Chris and I got there yesterday, the store was pretty picked over. I picked up a few belly dance patterns and one of the basic cholis that I'd been wanting (they were out of black, so I bought white and I'll probably tea-dye it). The mirrored skirts were long gone, as were the various belly dance scarves and veils. It was depressing, as I'd been wanting to go in and shop for months, but their limited hours meant they were always closed when I was in their neighborhood.
And of course, this phenomenon is not limited to Chivalry Sports. Everywhere I go in Tucson, I see empty spaces where small shops and restaurants used to be. Some neighborhoods look like ghost towns, the strip malls empty and in disrepair. I have to wonder how many more neat little stores will fall prey to increased costs and decreased spending.
I'm sorry to be such a downer today, but I think it needed to be said.