I attended a birthday party at the Knights of Columbus Hall last Saturday. Someone at the party had forgotten to purchase a gift bag and could not leave the party. She asked me to run this errand for her.
I started down Main St. toward downtown thinking it would be a quick trip. Why everybody sells wrapping paper and gift bags, right? Wrong. As I drove down Main St. and then State St. it occurred to me that we don't have a drug store or a card shop downtown at all. I ended up driving to the Dollar Tree for my purchase.
After returning to the party I had a discussion with another lifetime New Albany resident about the stores which we shopped in as children and young adults. We recalled W.T. Grant, Woolworth, Wallgreens, The Fashion Shop, The Joy Shop, even the Dollar General Store.
We need a "big box" store or at least a grocery store downtown. I'm not saying we need to put a Walmart on Pearl St. but we need some sort of store where a downtown resident could walk to for the purchase of an aspirin or a gallon of milk, or even a gift bag. We want people to live downtown and be able to walk to a store or restaurant. Many people are taking the risk to open a new business and I applaud them. But will someone or group of partners with means please open a "general store" where people can purchase the basic items for day to day use. The specialty stores are great but sometimes we just need a gift bag.