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Use it or lose it: Do you care if your local video rental store goes away?

Quick, rent a DVD from you local video store--or watch it die.

They're fast disappearing in my neighborhood. The Blockbuster shuttered a while back and only two of the five independent shops are left, but their days are numbered. For me it's like deja vu all over again, I remember in the '80s and '90s when record stores were dropping like flies. The real death knell came last year when Tower Records slid into oblivion, and I really miss the two NYC stores.


I think it's sad when local businesses whither and die, and we customers send our dollars and those lost jobs out of state. NYC is turning into a city of Starbucks, chain stores, fast food joints and lots and lots of banks. Sure, I Netflix most of my movies nowadays, but for me DVDs aren't precious the way music is. I have no idea why so many people regularly buy movies they rarely watch. Do they think having a copy of "Hitch" or "Ocean's Thirteen" on the coffee table will impress anybody?

As you can guess I'm no collector of DVDs (except for concert DVDs, which I watch on a regular basis), but I have thousands of CDs and thousands more LPs. I listen to them all the time--movies, even ones I really love aren't repeatable experiences. One viewing is pretty much all I need. When I buy a CD I like I might listen to it ten times in the first month, and still go back for more months and years later. I'm sure I've listened to my Beatles and 'Stones albums hundreds of times, and that's not going to stop. Same deal with certain jazz artists like Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, I can't get enough of their music. I regularly find gems lurking on my shelves and discover great music I bought years ago and forgot.

Here in New York City there are still lots of great independent record shops, so I'm pretty much set. For you video guys, well, it's Amazon and Netflix. That's kinda sad.