Very sad news this first week of the year, our favourite local toystore Alphabet Moon has announced it will be closing this month. It’s come as a great “oh no!” to the people of Davis, parents and kids and others alike. The day after hearing the news, I just had to get over there at lunchtime and sketch the place for posterity. I must say I am gutted by this news. I take my son there most weekends, and they have toys out to play with such as the great wooden railway table. When I told him, he was none too pleased. It’s always sad to see local shops go out of business, especially toystores. Toystores are where you can find those things you never see elsewhere, you never knew you wanted. Buying toys online is not the same – for one thing it’s rarely cheaper, and two you can’t see the thing, pick it up, maybe play with it. Now everyone will have to go to Target or WalMart, and while they have a lot of toys they only carry the things that all the other big box stores carry, nothing unique. As Art Brut once sang, “Don’t buy your albums from the supermarket, they only sell records that have charted.” Toys R Us? Please, that place is depressing. They have a Thomas the Tank Engine set laid out as well, but you can’t play with it, all the trains are glued down. Small independent toystores are always better, and once they are gone they’re hard to bring back. But, as with everything, we’re all to blame. As more of us buy online, and we all do nowadays, more stores go down, both big and small, and that ultimately leaves us with emptier downtowns, and much less choice. Either way, the young kids of Davis will have one less fun place to go on the weekends.