In the towns we’ve visited across America, the historic heart of small river towns are dying. Or more accurately, they are being killed by the Walmartization of everything. We are currently in upstate New York in Fort Edward on the Hudson River and this town is no exception.
This despite the best efforts of people who care about historic downtowns. Some little towns have managed to turn their old downtowns into tourist hells, such as Old Town Sacramento. Bigger towns with a more diverse population have managed to make their downtown hip with pricey sushi bars, clubs, and expensive restaurants, such as Knoxville and Chattanooga. A very few towns seem to have managed to maintain a working downtown, neither gentrified, ye olde, nor deserted, rare towns such as Winona, Minnesota, Savanna, Illinois, Paducah, Kentucky, and Rio Vista, California.
We hiked a mile on a cold drizzly day to the Family Dollar and the upscale chain Market32 to get groceries and a few supplies. We never did find a place to get a few hardware items though there was a abandoned hardware store right downtown here.