mom and pop capital of the u.s. of a.

Sometimes I think my hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut, is the country’s mom-and-pop capital. It’s definitely a contender for the claim. Here’s a store we discovered the other day, after we looked at a senior community for my mother, Soccer With Aldwin. We rounded the bend and there smack in front of us was this rococo-soccer storefront. The Boy was hot and grouchy and didn’t want to stop.

I lured him back this afternoon and we had a blast. I bought soccer tchatchkes for the team and a jersey for Isaac and, um, a soccer shot glass for me. That’s right, in addition to soccer lamps and soccer posters and soccer rugs and soccer coffee mugs and soccer key chains and soccer bumper stickers, along with serious soccer gear, like cleats and shin guards and balls, there are soccer shot glasses. Bottoms up.

When we were done, we stepped out on the front porch to find that it had started raining. “Oh, I wanted to kick around the ball in the front yard,” he said, disappointed. Then he looked back at the store and declared, “I love this sport. Can we come back tomorrow?”

Before the soccer store, we went to Heroes Comics and Cards, this fascinating, straightforward store primarily devoted to comics but with a little collectible card action thrown in for good measure.

Tomorrow, The Boy is going to get a haircut at an Italian barber’s whose shop is on a block that includes an independent game store, a lock shop, and several other examples of endangered merchants.

I have no sweeps today.