Oh, downtown, we love your little kielbasa storefronts and fly-by-night mailbox huts and your crazy houses of coffee. We've worried about the new giant Walgreen's moving into Astor Place where the wine store was—as if the K-Mart wasn't enough, right by the two Starbucks! The chain stores will destroy all our independent businesses. And guess what? Maybe the small businesses deserve it!

Maybe the Essex Street Market should open on Sundays, if they want to not get done in by the new Whole Foods. Human beings shopping for the food on a Sunday? I know, it's crazy talk, what is this innovation that Whole Foods is pioneering? How will you ever compete with those kind of ideas?

And that adorable and filthy little mailbox-fax-copy shop on First Avenue between 9th and 10th. You're so handy when one just needs to buy a stamp to send the rent! Except when I'm on my cell on a business call, and when I walk in, the counterboy makes the international "no cell phones allowed" gesture—because I'd missed the HUGE "NO CELL PHONES" sign on the door. Sure I hate the girls who yap on the phones everywhere—but you know what? My phone call is actually more important than your serenity or else I wouldn't be on the phone. Guess what? You're photocopying things for a living, so why don't you get off your own mental cellphone high horse and shut the hell up and sell me a marked-up stamp already?

And dear Puerto Rico Coffee [Oops: I mean Porto Rico, as the commenters point out] on St. Mark's Place—gee, maybe you should have actually opened at 8 a.m. this morning when you said you would, not at 8:40, after I was walking back home with coffee from SOMEWHERE ELSE. Oh were you busy sleeping in? Guess what, the "owner-operators" of Starbucks at 9th and 2nd weren't.