The upper west side where Eric Greenfield grew up has been transformed.
Gone are many of the small businesses and replacing them, up and down Broadway in particular, are an endless number of banks and Duane Reades. Gone are the privately owned bookstores. Even one of the Barnes & Noble closed its doors to be replaced by a large retail chain. And then there are the supermarkets. One by one they are closing as more and more people buy for convenience from on-line vendors.
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In this new landscape, shopping, banking, and bill paying are all being done on- line, replacing what has become a quaint way of doing business--in person. Greenfield and his family miss the personal relationships they once had with small business people in the neighborhood--the people who knew your name and asked about your family. These businesses are long gone, priced out by huge rents which only big chain stores could afford to pay.
It is a strange sight to see so many empty stores along Broadway. Who will eventually rent them? The last thing the neighborhood needs is another bank or drug store.