Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Time is up for Better Tyme Deli. Public postering etiquette. Manic flyer vigilantes. Store for rent.
(Above) Father and son monitor the culture from the windows of 184 Main Street today. When I first moved back to Northampton from California, this is where I lived. Back then the Better Tyme Deli was the Good Thyme Deli. Carlo was the proprietor's name I think, and he was a great guy. He died a couple years ago. He'd put quarters in my meter out front, which I did not deserve. The restaurant was taken over by a nice Polish couple with a young son (5-ish years old) who changed the name. The son didn't change the name. The couple did. Although the son might have actually done a better job with the spelling! I remember telling the new proprietors that "thyme" was misspelled as "tyme" on the new awning and that the awning company ought to fix it at no charge. How can you make a typo that obvious on an awning? I guess awnings don't have spellcheck. Helena, my favorite Good Thyme staffer, remained. They had a great egg sandwich on a Portugese roll. They let me put a Taj Mahal poster in their window. They had odd Polish sodas. Better Tyme went out of business two weeks ago. The space is for rent and you can get info about that here.
(above) Is this okay? No it's not. I called "Sam" at the number on the poster and asked a man who answered if they were responsible for the flyering in Northampton and if they were they aware of the local "no bills" ordinance... never mind common sense and discretion. He was meek and said he'd tell Sam that I was lodging a complaint. Jeeeez. I mean, I myself sometimes technically violate the ordinance with my Drive-By Poems and concert flyers, but it's done tastefully, and I try to keep everything looking neat in my wake. I think public postering is a free speech issue. I know that opinion is entirely debatable but it's a matter of balance. During sidewalk sales a guy gave me crap about putting up some really nice Taj Mahal posters. He actually pulled one down and tore it in half in front of me. I asked him in so many words if this was his cause celebre. If it gave his life meaning to "fight the power" in this fashion. He said it costs the city money to tear these down and I said, well, in fact there's a flyer vigilante with an undoubtedly empty life like you who pretty much takes care of it once a day on his own, unfunded by our tax dollars. Choose your battles dude. So am I a hypocrite to be upset about the barrage of Obama posters? It's not about the politics. There's a balance to everything and the people who push it too far upset this balance and ruin it for everyone else. Just like the people who were prudent with their money are now the only ones NOT being bailed out by the government.