December 8th, 2008 12:15 EST
Update: "1929" The Boutique That Offers Free Coffee
Yesterday I wrote an essay, "Exclusive "1929" Boutique Offers Free Soup" criticizing the owners of this boutique for their insensitivity in naming a business after the Great Depression, and making light of the hunger and suffering of the poor by offering free soup to their affluent clientele.
I wrote my editorial based on wire reports, but today I received a letter from the store manager, Aaron Genuth, that provides me with additional information. I am always more than happy to revise or update an opinion piece when anyone sends me information with supporting documentation.
"Our use of The 1929 and Depression imagery is not meant to mock or trivialize anyones pain, it is our way of acknowledging, accepting, and preparing for tough times, remaining confident and optimistic that just like back then, we will get through this together, and we will come out stronger and better for it."
I still think that it`s in bad taste to name a high-end boutique "1929" in an allusion to the Great Depression, but I have revised my opinion of Mr. Genuth and his business.
"We do in fact donate a portion of our profits towards sustaining a weekly soup kitchen in midtown Manhattan, and I would be more than happy to put you in touch with the administrator of that charity. 100% of our cut of all art shows, as well as tips and donations from music and other performances will go to the aforementioned soup kitchen and the Bowery Mission."
I volunteered for years in a soup kitchen and we were always chronically understaffed and underbudgeted; I commend "1929" for donating a portion of their profits towards sustaining a weekly soup kitchen. I hope Genuth accepts my apologies for assuming that the owners of "1929" weren`t donating part of their profits to a soup kitchen.
In these hard economic times it`s not just the homeless but also the working poor who frequent soup kitchens, and these ministries can only remain open thanks to kindhearted folks like Genuth.
I`m a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy, but the next time I`m in New York City I will go to "1929". I think everyone should patronize a business establishment that ministers to the poor.