To the Editor:

Could Chatham Borough’s Main Street commercial district be better? Of course, it could. But upon reflection, I’m amazed at how good it is!  

It’s cheerful and incredibly convenient. I’ve never failed to find parking behind the Post Office, which is such a short walk to the main strip. My family uses at least six of the restaurants regularly, the kids have learned to save at TD Bank, I go to the hardware store and paint store in a pinch (helpful staffs!), and to Kings for its convenience, quality and their year-round charity food collections.

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Our library is a profoundly important place for many of us, my son went to Sprout House for a year, and I’m at the Post Office pretty regularly. CVS is like my second home (from Daddy Hero 9:30 p.m. errands to nicknacks like batteries, rope, notebooks and little presents), the liquor store is convenient (but not my second home), and I’ve depended numerous times on Dunkin Donuts and the PC-fixing wizards at Ricciardi Brothers.

Bradley Funeral Home is a gathering spot in sad times when the community needs each other. The two gas stations are convenient now that one of them has cut prices, Bike Land is terrific for my fix-its and upgrades, my son goes to Chatham Hair Stylists, and I use the coffee nooks too. We have the yoga studio and dance studio, the sports heroes who sign at Legends Gallery, and the kids have the big Borough playground, with the fragrant black walnuts from the majestic tree there.

We’ve taken advantage of our wonderful Farmer’s Market, the activities at Reasoner Park, been invited as guests to Fish & Game, and spent many hours in the Borough’s ball fields. I haven’t even mentioned the historic downtown – sign me up for a tour! -- the proximity to the Passaic River, and dozens of other popular and convenient spots along Main Street.

Sure, I’d make a few improvements. Peak-time traffic is a little annoying but can often be avoided if you remember to do so, and a few savvy street adjustments may alleviate it too. I’d love Charlie’s Aunt to be renovated to be more like the shiny 54 Main in Madison. Train Station parking can be tight but I’ll bet solutions are within our grasp.

Chatham’s Main Street is pretty darn incredible, the more I think about it. It’s a huge asset to thousands of us. It serves our very special town remarkably well. Let’s be sure not to overlook or undermine its wonderful attributes, even as we try to make it even better.

Joe Basralian

Fairfax Terrace

Chatham Township