It’s kind of hard to imagine, but we used to be surrounded by commercial spaces that were socially integrated into our community. You could stop in a general store, hang out, catch up with someone or have a conversation with a stranger. Buying stuff was intimately connected within our social landscape. Starting in the 70’s with the rise of the big box stores and continuing into the digital age with online retailers like Amazon, these social spaces have been increasingly harder and harder to find. In an effort to “streamline” and “manage costs” we are currently witnessing the depersonalization of commerce and the effects that it’s having on our towns and cities. In an effort to increase the awareness of the importance of these spaces, and to promote the value of businesses that provide people a place that they can feel a part of, we will be hosting a late night Ice Cream Social Tuesday, May 28th, from 7 to 10 pm.

 

 

This isn’t just a sweet ice cream date. We will also unveil our recently redone storefront windows. These window displays will be ever changing and eventually will be guest curated by hand selected local artists and other people in the community. In 1993 local sculptor Dale Eldred did an installation of giant gold tools that have been hanging in the window ever since. The current window display, done by Jori Sackin (that’s me), keeps Dale’s gold tools, but builds around them, reflecting the wide array of products that we sell, as well as the local tools we distribute. focus group

 

 

Recently, in reaction to this scrubbing clean of social space, and with the deepening consciousness people have about the broader implications of their purchases, we have seen a challenge to the mentality of simply “buying cheap”. More and more people view purchases as a moral issue, one that has consequences on the social landscape in which they live. This trend can be seen in the movement of food toward local/organic, as well as tradesman who buy American made tools, not just because of the quality, but also because of the duty they feel to support local jobs and manufacturing. More than ever, American consumers are waking up to the fact that continuing down the path of “as cheap as possible” has huge economic and social effects here in our country, and in other parts of the world. It is Epstein’s hope to promote this growing consumer consciousness through the late night celebration of art, community and ice cream.