Many of us are stuck at home, and a lot of people who WANT to be can’t do it because they’re out there trying to keep their businesses from going under. Which brings me to: How can we help? How can we make a Fug Nation repository for swapping recommendations and strategies for supporting our communities? Note: Tomorrow, if you think it would help, we could do a post like this for the people who ARE those small businesses, who want to trade advice with each other? Let us know.

  • Grocery store lines are insane, so we’re gonna need food from somewhere; what restaurants that deliver, on their own or through Postmates/DoorDash/GrubHub (etc.), deserve recognition?
  • CVS and Walgreens are jammed; are there mom-and-pop drugstores you love?
  • What day spas and manicurists are you desperate to keep afloat, by buying gift cards now that can be redeemed later? Facialists?
  • What about a florist who could send a bouquet to someone you miss, or… just to yourself, because you are worth it?
  • Are there school tutors or therapists — psychologists, psychiatrists, speech, occupational (that one’s tougher) — who’ve mentioned they’ll work through Skype, versus in-person lessons or sessions?
  • Are there any small theaters or arts organizations who could stay alive with a similar gift card situation?
  • And while we are here, which ones are offering free entertainment and thus might be worthy of donations? For example, the Seattle Orchestra has a schedule of free online performances.  And the Metropolitan Opera is streaming free performances nightly from its Live in HD series.

Basically, I wonder if we can swap advice and recommendations here. My thought is: Open your comment with your nearest major metro area and then specific suburbs/regions — or, if applicable, country, province, whatever anyone in your area would say — so that people can do a find for their specific city/area, if they want. Does that make sense? For example: “Chicago, Wrigleyville,” or, “Houston, Sugar Land,” or “Los Angeles, Burbank.”

For me, in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, I love the food at Ocado on Ventura Blvd. — a vegan restaurant beloved by non-vegans as well, which I am desperate to keep alive — and Mirabelle Wine Bar on Burbank, but you probably have to pick up yourself at that one. (If you do, and they’ll sell you a bottle, try the Chilean red Pais because it’s utterly unusual; the bartender told me it has a finish that reminds her of Doritos and SHE WASN’T WRONG and it also kinda worked.) And La Fogata on Van Nuys Blvd. is great Mexican food, and of course Four N 20 Restaurant; the one on Van Nuys is what Parks & Rec used as Leslie Knope’s favorite waffle joint, AND YET they don’t actually serve waffles. We don’t eat out enough for me to have other brilliant recommendations in my area but I know they’re out there, just as I know y’all have businesses you want to support. Let’s share and see what we can do. God knows the little bistro near me called Ralph’s (aka Kroger, aka a supermarket) doesn’t have any meat right now.