Thanksgiving is just barely over and here we are already rushing to think about the holiday season. I literally just took down my Halloween decorations yesterday. I would’ve left them up, but having sugar skulls plastered on my window in November, just came across as kinda creepy.
This year, I started to think a lot about the original mission of this blog — to highlight our borough’s hidden gems and encourage Bronxites to have pride in their borough. I get a lot of PR emails about this event and that product, some of it is really cool, but I had to make a decision. Let me preface this by saying that I have a problem, I am super cheap, I LOVE free things. I always have. So, it’s really hard to say no to a free dinner and open bar somewhere in Brooklyn (hiss! boo!) or to try out some free product from some company that has absolutely nothing to do with the Bronx. But, I saw myself starting to drift away from my original mission and realized I needed to refocus. Get back to basics.
To really do this and put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, I decided that this holiday season, I’m going to shop local. Like really, truly, local. Not “Hey, I shopped at the Target in Throggs Neck, all my holiday shopping is done!” (Although, who doesn’t love Target? )
So here are the parameters:
- I must buy from a local, independent business.
- Holiday fairs are acceptable, so is Etsy.
- The goal is to buy for everyone on my list, which right now is at 15, though, I am probably forgetting some people.
Small Business Saturday is tomorrow and the Bronx Museum’s Holiday Fair is December 12 & 13th so I’m going to start with those and see how I go. I’ll do an update after the fair to keep you guys abreast of my progress. Please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.
This past week the first Bronx Food and Wine Festival took place at the Mall at Bay Plaza. This had my name written all over it!
Let’s start with the highlights:
Beforehand, I was a little worried that I would leave starving; that vendors would give you a tiny sample and send you on your way. I’m happy to report that that was not the case and I left as full as I would have leaving a restaurant for dinner. And the wine booths didn’t skimp on their samples either. It was wonderful to see so many different vendors including one of my faves the Bronx Beer Hall as well as Flaco Coquito, Bistro SK, Euro Products, Frozen Peaks, Havana Cafe, among so many others I know I’m leaving out. Everything I sampled was delicious. Plus the swag bag contained samples, coupons, and a
dorky nifty little wine glass holder for lushes people who were holding lots of things, such as myself.
As it was the first of its kind, there’s always room for improvement…
On the one hand there were a lot of people, which was great! But it did get a bit crowded and you had to kind of shuffle around to find a free space. Another thing that would have been helpful was chairs and tables! With all of that food and a full wine glass, it would’ve been nice to have a place to sit and enjoy it. Lastly, something that was confusing was the way it was marketed alongside the Bronx Fashion Week event, which led me (and others) to believe that the two events were connected, particularly since they were only two floors away from each other. It was still easy enough to view the fashion show…well…until you were shooed away (nicely) by the mall’s security guards. Something that could have been cleared up in the wording or advertising of the event.
Overall, though, I had a great time and can’t wait until next year!