There were once things called cassettes. Those were discarded in favor of CDs, but now there’s nothing of music but bits of stored data on a computer. Actually, maybe not. Maybe your music is stored in a cloud, a server bank thousands of miles away from where you even live.
But still, people are buying vinyl records again. There’s a certain quality to them you won’t get with digitized music, people say. Not only that, it simply feels different, like one is feeling the rough memories of the music artist.
It goes to say that there is a certain quality to things gone past that goes beyond nostalgia. In today’s crisis, it may be best to look for the things we once thought defunct to perhaps help us and our local businesses combat the economic impacts of COVID-19 in unique ways. While Suffolk County begins the reopening process this week, businesses must think about the greater good, and look for unique ways to service customers without potentially causing an uptick in cases.
We’re not the only folks to recognize the possibilities presented by drive-in movies. We have heard leaders in multiple North Shore communities mention the possibility of setting up some kind of in-car theater experience. What it takes is space, and that’s the main issue. Places like Stony Brook University may be tricky because of all the coronavirus-related activity going on there. Landlords with strip malls or other large parking lots should start considering the possibility to help out their tenants. Imagine people being able to order food that then gets delivered to cars while they’re watching a movie right there in the parking lot.
There’s one noticeable location right on the North Shore that is almost too perfect a spot. The former Rocky Point Drive-In on Route 25A may be too apt a name for what’s now an overgrown property. It’s owned by Heidenberg Properties Group, a national company that wanted to put a big box store there before local communities and governments came out against it. Maybe it’s time for the property owner to think of something else for that location, and we feel the community would embrace the return of a local landmark.
Summer on Long Island might be drier than any in living memory. Beaches might very well be restricted. Parks and sports fields and courts may be similarly closed. The annual summer concert series, hosted by Suffolk County legislators along with civic leaders in various locations across the North Shore, may very well not happen this year.
It’s going to take ingenuity to fill the summer with something other than backyard escapades and hours spent couch surfing.
Some places, such as Port Jefferson Village and the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, are opening up some space for farmers markets, though the one at the mall has found unique success by having people stay in their cars and roll up to each individual stall along a line.
We encourage more of our shopping centers to embrace outdoor dining experiences. Even as Long Island inches closer to starting the reopening process, many will find people may still be anxious of eating inside enclosed dining areas.
But with that there has to be restriction and conscientiousness. On Memorial Day, downtown Port Jefferson was packed with a slew of people, many not wearing face coverings or practicing much social distancing.
While we begin the reopening process this week, we should remember the worst-case scenario is a second wave of the virus that could force businesses to shut down all over again. Our local business owners are smart, and we’re sure they will think of unique ways to facilitate customers while keeping the virus from spreading once again.