Not Everyone is in a Position to Support Restaurants

Re: “Support Your Favorite Local Restaurants, Especially for Restaurant Week,” by Larry Penner (Nov. 2-8).

While the author’s letter may be well-intentioned, I find it to be extremely tunnel-visioned.

Much of this country cannot afford to eat out and tip 20 percent. When I was supporting two children and a wife, it was everything I could do to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Now that I’m divorced, child support long over, one child grown and completely independent and another semi-grown and semi-independent, I have a few discretionary dollars. I still look for the cheapest gasoline, shop in discount stores, look for sales on coffee. I can’t afford to eat out regularly.

The author worked for 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). I doubt he’s affluent, but also doubt he’s hurting financially. I don’t begrudge any level of financial comfort the author has attained. I do begrudge, and mightily, him not understanding that not everyone is as well off as he is.

My heart aches for those in the restaurant industry hurt by the pandemic. But I refuse to be guilted into spending my money at restaurants. The problem was not of my making, nor is the solution.

Here are two interesting questions. First, is the author himself going to go to the Hudson Valley to support restaurants? And second, how is he going to get there?

Every year around Earth Day he publishes a letter, urging everyone to take public transportation. Is he going to get from Great Neck to the Hudson Valley via public transport?

Nat Weiner
Bronx, N.Y.

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