Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Worshipping at the altar of internal combustion

If you wanted to understand how we got into this mess, you might want to have walked down Main Street in Middletown tonight where the annual Cruise Night, sponsored by the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, was held.

Here you could find multifarious ways of burning processed petroleum.

The crowds were large, and the sidewalk vendors seemed to be doing a brisk business. But the Chamber of Commerce paints this event as good for Main Street merchants. In a brief and unscientific survey of eight restauranteurs, I found two who said business was booming (the Firehouse Grill, and First and Last), two who felt it was about the same (Forbidden City and Amici), one which had a lot of empty tables (Thai Gardens and Fiore) and two who felt the event was horrible for business (Typhoon and It's Only Natural). The restaurants with sidewalk seating seemed to fare better.

Main Street market was like a ghost town, though, to be fair, it often is.

Seems that there might be a better way to get the event to integrate with Main Street businesses than to have most of the attendees walk past in the center of the road.

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