Main Street/Fare vs. Fair

... Exercising your palate -- a humorous look at what is being dished out on
Main Street in Melrose.

by Debbi Collar

Strolling down Main Street in Melrose, pedestrians take in a number of unusual boutiques, gift shops, candy stores, coffee shops, liquor stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, doctor and dentist offices, flower shops, beauty and nail salons, barber shops,insurance and other financial institutions, "wholistic" therapy centers, appliance stores, laundromats and more.

Yet it is mainly the restaurants that abound in the downtown area of Melrose.
To tempt the palate, there are many choices. "Turner's" offers fish dishes,
"Bellito Lindo" offers Mexican fare, "Melrose House of Pizza", "Petrone's" and
"Papa Gino's" offer the traditional American favorites such as pizza and subs,
"Brueger's Bagels" brings in the breakfast and lunch crowd while "Spice" offers Thai cuisine and Chinese food can be found at "Feng Shui."  

Coffee connoisseurs get their java from "Starbucks" and "Coffee, Tea and
Me." Both shops not only offer coffee but other treats as well from
sandwiches to pastries.

Main Street though also offers an unfair practice.

The following is an explanation  as to this "unfair" dilemma facing Melrosians
they deal with some serious decision making.

This "unfair" practice is that of enticing pedestrians who may be out for a
healthy stroll, to take part in trying out one of the eateries or all of them.
Shop window decorations are so inviting with tastefully done artwork and
advertisements for that special dish. It isn't easy to pass by the aromas of
pizza, subs or pastries.

Suddenly you find that your five senses join forces working against you.

Your eyes have taken in many of the food related advertisements and
photographs or the thoughtfully placed and tempting cakes just waiting for you to make your decision as to whether to continue your exercise or maybe just try a "little" something before continuing your walk.

Your nose contemplating the aromas of which tasteful temptation it will lead
you to in the near future.

Your ears are not listening to that nagging conscience.


You find that your hands are already digging through your pocketbook or
pockets touching the  dollar bills or coins that will soon be spent for that little taste of something that will give you that boost of energy you need to
continue your exercise.

You go in, you choose exactly what delicacy will taste best to you on this
particular day.

You enjoy your indulgence.

You forget that you had promised yourself you were just going for a stroll down Main Street and you were not going to enter any of the stores, especially those that would force you off your diet and health plans for spring and summer.  

Yet, winter was harsh, you were not able to go out and enjoy the fresh air. Today, the sun was shining and it was time to shed a few of those pounds you had picked up this past season.

You deserve a treat. After all, you did shovel a lot of snow this past season.
Maybe you  hadn't picked up as much weight as you thought.

Now you remember.

You remember how many times you picked up that shovel and what a workout you had tossing that snow off of your walkways, your driveways and stairs!  Time after time you also had to dig out your parking space, brush now from your car, move your car, retrieve your car and reclaim your spot. You deserve the guilty pleasure of an extra sweet following this past winter's snowstorms.

You have now arrived inside your favorite eatery of the day.

Are these the same feet that you insisted would only be walking past the stores? How did they get inside the bakery without you noticing? Now it would be too embarrassing to walk out.You will have to order that "little taste" of something sweet.You did and it was delicious.

Now Main Street beckons again.

You walk out the door and there before you are those larger than life signs
you hadn't noticed before. You can't hide from them.

You have been caught.

Now you discover that in at least four locations of the Main Street  area
between  Essex and Grove Street these letters loom large.  They are not as
inviting or tempting as the food you just consumed.  You again feel guilt.  
Guilt of a different type.

These are the letters of health clubs designed to get you back in shape
following those winter storms.

Unfair - considering what you just devoured.

Residents of the city and visitors alike can't help but be forced back into
fitness following their dining out as several of those restaurants sit right
next door to health clubs!

"Stearns and Hill" is located right next to the "YMCA", "Melrose House of
Pizza"is a neighbor to "Get In Shape For Women." "Anytime Fitness" is
sandwiched between D'Amici's Bakery and "Comelia's Homemade Italian
Food", "Absolutely Fabulous" takes up residence next to "B Yoga Center."

A favorite quotation from a friend - "the only form of exercise I get is ifting the fork from my plate to my mouth."  Another favorite quotation, heard from another friend, who jokingly implied, "a truly balanced meal should
include an appetizer, the main dish and a dessert."

Whatever your cup of tea, whether it be browsing through the shops or visiting any of the restaurants or even taking in a bit of exercise,Main Street, Melrose has it all.

Go take that walk downtown, visit any or all of the shops, treat yourself,
enjoy the day with relatives or friends.

Then be prepared, after refueling with those delicious treats, to be confronted by those signs that will bring your conscience back into line and
remind you why you originally headed in the direction of Main Street.

Main Street, Melrose, it's worth the trip!

June 6, 2014

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