Go Local

I’m not sure if this is a Tacoma thing or if other cities in the country have the Go Local bug.? From my own personal observation it seems to be that my city is very local-centric.? I love that about my city.? Of course Tacoma has a long an torrid past.? It used to be an industrial wasteland of factories and homeless people.? People would speed through on I-5 to avoid being shot at by local gangs.? Basically our city was the armpit of Washington.

Recently the citizens of this fair city have taken it back from the gangs, the vagrants and the scum.? Tacoma is becoming one of the best places to live in Washington.

Part of that take back the city mentality is buying local.? We support as many local business as possible.? We recently had our Cucina Cucina close and in it’s place is a locally owned restaurant.? It is now the closest locally owned restaurant to the mall.? An awesome victory for the eatery industry.

The trusty husband and I did the majority of our Christmas shopping at local businesses.? Dwell being our favorite.? We avoid the chain restaurants and shop the local farmers market (when it’s open).? We buy our vegetables and meat (in the off season) at locally owned Tacoma Boys and H&L.? Basically, there is no real need to shop a chain store in this city.? I was lucky enough to work on the Tacoma Gardens posters (that still need to be finished) and my work caught the eye of some people and I was asked to work on stuff for Grow Local.? I am extremely excited about this project.

But I still need some help.? Tell me about your city.? Do you feel your city has a good local-centric mentality or could it be doing better?? If so, what are they doing right or wrong?? Help me out.

In the vein of Go Local there is a group of people organizing a Grow Local group.? Now this is something I can really get behind.? In fact, come next week I’ll be one of the collaborators on this project.

9 Comment

  1. I haven’t lived here long enough to really have a feel for whether or not Nashville tries to push a local mentality…but if they do, they are woefully short on options. It is one of the things I miss about living in an older area (everything is brand spanking new here). There are so few local options here in stores or restaurants – as a result when people ask how I like living here I tend to tell them it is fine but I really could be living anywhere because it is so vanilla. Everything is a chain – we’ve actually spent time looking for non-chain places. We did find a farmers market down town that we try to get to monthly.

  2. DebiP says: Reply

    My little village is not really big enough to be like Tacoma…it is an active and bustling place but it is quite small…now, Chicago the closest (45 minutes) is rather booming…

  3. Lauri says: Reply

    Our city is doing great but we could do better. Ours is a very family oriented community… lots of family camp outs, family movie nights. Our community is chock full of bungalows and people usually move to the other suberbs when their families grow. To keep people in the area, our city is building a big lakefront gated community, right down the street from me.

    It will be interesting to see what changes this brings to our area.
    I loved my old city that I lived in when I was single… very trendy, open, fun and you could walk to everything. The westside just has a different feel than the eastside where I live now.. I will always be a westside girl at heart.

  4. Lauri says: Reply

    I forgot to mention my city stopped picking doing the recycle pick ups… upset many folks.

  5. The Go Local thing is pretty important here, too. I live in a farming community so there was always an importance placed on buying local — long before it was a green initiative it was important because you needed to support your neighbors. I vividly remember driving around to the different farmers’ stands when I was a kid. Now that there are farmer’s markets it’s easier, of course.

  6. Fredericksburg ( Virginia) is a pretty cool small “city” (not sure if it technically is a city). One of the things we love is “First Friday”, all of the local galleries have shows featuring local artists, or somewhat local, and they all do this as a group. You’re encouraged to go around and see all the exhibits at every place. There’re also some nice local restaurants and the downtown area is just a nice place to hang out. There are some really cool events every year, like the Welsh Heritage “festival” and the local music store, Picker’s Supply is pretty well-known and very helpful and encouraging to local musicians of all ages and styles. We love it, it’s not a bad place to live at all.

  7. Elle: You so need to call me.
    Lauri: No!!!!!! Are you kidding?!!??!?!?
    Margaret: Yay for farms!
    Melissa: Yay! We have “Third Thursday” … similar stuff.

  8. Sandy says: Reply

    The nearest bigger city is Santa Cruz and given that, the “Local” thing is big. There are many small businesses, restaurants, farmer’s markets, and privately-owned grocery stores. If you venture South just a few miles, Capitola is the opposite, with strip malls, Home Depot, fast-food row… you can really see the difference. The community where I live is a kind of a mix between the two, but follows Capitola a little more closely. And now the city leaders are entertaining the idea of putting in a T@rget!!! I would say Santa Cruz, despite it’s shortfalls with drugs and crime, is doing a good job… and the student population, with it’s ‘global’ awareness to go local helps. Capitola is a necessary evil, when you absolutely need to go to Sears for a new lawnmower or freezer. My town has many small business right now, and if they discourage the big-box from coming in… will be on the right track. But it’s also a bedroom community along a highway corridor, and folks might just be too busy with their lives to speak out when it’s important.

  9. We have a great statewide program for buying local, which can be identified by the polar bear on a blue background. It’s a nice way to ID which products are local. Obviously we’re a little limited on local produce, but during the summer we have an amazing selection! As big as Anchorage is, we have a small-town feel; you can run into someone at the store you went to college with and catch up on the news. It amazed me how many people I knew when I first moved down from Fairbanks!

    Good luck with the go local project!

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