I wandered through the vegetable section of the Food Conspiracy Co-op, searching in vain for broccoli. For those readers who live somewhere other than Tucson, the Food Conspiracy is a small grocery store located in the hippie-ish part of town. They've been around for almost 40 years and boast an entirely organic produce department along with (according to their website) a commitment to environmentalism, social justice, and education.
I like the idea of these locally owned and operated stores. It's sad to me that huge chains are homogenizing the landscape of the entire country. Places like the Co-op have more character, more personality.
And yet, as I continued to scan for various items on my list, I thought about why I almost never come here. Parking tends to be a pain, as it was tonight. Plus, I was going to end up stopping off at a chain supermarket anyway because these guys didn't have any broccoli on hand. What grocery store doesn't have broccoli?
My thoughts were interrupted when, suddenly, I heard a violin.
I made a 180-degree turn in the direction of the music. A guy with dark gray hair was standing near one of the checkout lanes and playing "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." Like me, the other people in the store had stopped what they were doing to watch and listen.
When the music came to an end, everyone burst into applause.
Okay. Score one for locally owned and operated. I'm pretty sure that will never happen at the Safeway.