My mission: getting the Sunday New York Times. On Sunday.

If you ask me, one of the great pleasures of life is the Sunday New York Times. It’s a monster-sized newspaper – though, as with all newspapers, a lot smaller than it used to be – filled with stories that are well-written, quirky, informative, and just plain interesting. As I’m sure you know.

In our Montreal life, Raymond and I had an excellent post-church-service tradition of Sunday brunch: Raymond’s Famous Scrambled Eggs with sausages or bacon, toast or (yum) Montreal bagels, Katherine’s Famous Bloody Marys – and the Sunday New York Times. We would each take our favourite sections – Sunday Styles, Travel and Arts for me; the front section, Sports and Books for Raymond; and the Sunday Review to whomever got there first – and quietly and happily pore through them as we enjoyed our meal.

And I miss that! Here at the Manse in Queensborough we can still make an excellent Sunday brunch (especially given that the bacon and breakfast sausages at the One Stop Butcher Shop in Madoc are superb, we can buy eggs fresh from the farm of our friend Harold Harris, and the white loaf at the Sweet Temptations bakery in Tweed makes the best toast ever), but we are seriously bereft of a proper Sunday newspaper to read while we enjoy it.

And yes, I know perfectly well that the New York Times is available online. But I don’t want to spill my scrambled eggs on my iPad, thank you very much. I want a big printed page that I can spread out on the table. Call me old-fashioned; I don’t care. I firmly believe that the Sunday Times is best consumed in ink-on-paper format. (For one thing, the paper helps absorbs the egginess of my spills.)

So my next mission is to get the Sunday New York Times delivered to Hastings County. People, this is a challenging mission.

Early on in our time here, we discovered a weekday copy of the New York Times for sale at the Mac’s convenience store in Madoc. Thrilled, we asked the clerk if they had the Sunday Times too. The news: yes. But not on Sunday; on Monday. And worse: since then the Mac’s store has stopped carrying the Times altogether.

Since we’ve been here full-time, I’ve been inquiring of people who are avid readers of news whether they know of anyplace in Hastings County that has the Sunday Times. I don’t hold out much hope for the area north of Highway 7 (where we live), but I rather think that the city of Belleville at the south end of the county is big enough that the Times could and should be available there. And for the luxury of having the Sunday New York Times on Sunday, I would happily drive 45 minutes to Belleville.

So today Raymond went on an investigative journey. He drove in to Belleville, stopping first in the downtown core and then going hither and yon all over town, asking at bookshops and a cigar store and pharmacies whether they carry the Times or know anyplace else that does. The upshot: one Shoppers Drug Mart that has the weekday edition; but the clerk he spoke to was highly doubtful that it comes in on Sundays. (Be assured we will be following up with some inquiries to the store manager on that front.)

What to do, people? Is the answer to open our own newsstand? Hey, Raymond’s retired now; and lord knows there are lots of shopfronts for rent in downtown Belleville. We could bring in newspapers and magazines from all over North America and beyond (The Guardian! The Boston Globe! Down East! Arizona Highways! The New York Review of Books! The Montreal GazetteArchitectural Digest! Paris Match!), and maybe sell new and vintage books too. And in fact, Raymond found what I think is just the place today on Front Street, Belleville’s main drag:

newsstand to be in Belleville

Doesn’t this cute little for-rent storefont on Belleville’s main street – red trim and all – look like a nice spot for a good newsstand and magazine store?

What do you think? Does “Raymond’s Famous Newsstand” have a ring to it?

17 thoughts on “My mission: getting the Sunday New York Times. On Sunday.

  1. Your interim solution is to buy the Sunday Toronto Star which has a New York Time supplement in it, including the Book Review Section. And you can get it at the Log Cabin restaurant,at Hwy 7 and 37. The rest you can read on-line. It also carries the Sunday Times crossword puzzle, and two NYtimes crosswords from the week before. So all you need is a copier and you can each do your own puzzles. That’s how Bob and I spend out Sundays!

    • Thank you, Pauline! Now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense that the Log Cabin, where all the buses coming to and from Toronto by way of Highway 7 stop, would have the Sunday papers. I think I will look into whether the actual New York Times (as opposed to just the Star and its NYT section) could possibly come our way by that method. Wouldn’t that be something?

  2. It’s a shame that Greenley’s in Belleville has closed. I always loved going in there. Although, I doubt they would have had the NY Times on Sunday. It seems to me that they were not open on Sunday, but I might be wrong on that. In any case, if they did carry the Sunday newspaper, it was likely received on Monday.

    Now, I am going nuts trying to figure out where this red shop is. I’ve gone up and down Front Street using Google Maps, but I can’t seem to find it. I’ve done a spin on Bridge E., too, and I still don’t see it. It looks like one of the shops that might have been tucked in around where Geen’s Drug Store used to be (possibly the shop that used to sell art), but I still can’t put my finger on it! Yes, it would be ideal as a shop for newspapers, some books, magazines, etc. Downtown Belleville needs a lot of help, and with Greenley’s not being there, they really need a spot like this.

    • I have heard about Greenley’s for so many years, and I am very sorry to say that I was never there. I think it started up after my family moved away from Hastings County, and by the time Raymond and I were back here in earnest, we were reading stories in the local papers about the famed and much-loved Greenley’s closing down. I do know from all I’ve heard and read about it that it was an absolutely excellent community bookstore, and that Belleville, and Hastings County generally, are the poorer without Greenley’s. (But hey: do you remember the James Texts? Of course you do!) Meanwhile, I just asked Raymond where that red shopfront is, and he tells me that yes indeed, it is in the area of the former Geen’s store (which is also for rent).

      • Thanks to you and Raymond for confirming the location of the shop with the red front. It doesn’t show on Google Maps, so their images might not be up-to-date. I’m wondering if it a former lady’s wear shop, as there were a few in that area (Milady’s was one.)

        Greenley’s had been there for years, and then the owners sold a few years ago, but an employee bought the shop and continued the business under the Greenley’s name. When the original owners had the shop, they had a cage of finches and when you entered the building, you would hear them singing along to the soft classical music. It was a lovely shop, and it was always a “must visit” place. I’m so sorry that is now vacant.

        Speaking of the downtown area, I’ve just read where another interesting shop is being demolished. Part of the old “Marble Hall”, across from the upper bridge will come down, as reported in the Intelligencer (attached is the link). I can remember as child when this housed the Templer’s Flower Shop. It was such an interesting building and it always caught my eye as we crossed the bridge, veering to the downtown portion. An artist lived in the portion closest to downtown and there were two apartments above it. I remember when the apartments were gutted a few years ago, and one of them was shown as an article about loft living in a magazine. A couple of the spaces were for sale a year or so ago, but I don’t know if the entire building will come down, or just the old cafe.

        And, on the subject of old buildings in Belleville, attached is another link. This one has photos (sorted by year) of various buildings in Belleville. Click on any year (on the right), and you’ll all sorts of interesting photos and old news clippings. Another place in Belleville that had old photos, (and is sadly gone), is the old Belmont Restaurant. It was just a couple of doors south of Victoria on Front Street, on the east side. They had old photos of old Belleville around the restaurant and I remember my mother was so fascinated one day when we were there, as they brought back many memories of her younger days.

  3. Katherine, I believe that Chapters in Belleville carries the New York Times. It’s open Sunday 10 am-8pm. 🙂

    • Thank you, Maureen! Interestingly, other people have told us the same thing about Chapters, which leads me to believe they must once have carried the Times. Sadly, Raymond’s inquiries there proved fruitless: no Times there, sadly.

  4. On Google Maps, I’ve found the Belleville shop with the red front. The image on Maps is an older one, showing it badly in need of a paint job (a mix of white and red.) I am 100% certain (well, 99.9%) that a women’s clothing shop used to be there. My mother bought a beautiful coat there back in the 1940s. I cannot remember the name of the shop, but it used the logo, “the shop with the flowers on top” because toward the top of the building, the sign had flowers painted above it. It’s either that space or the one next to it, but the same building.

    And, do you remember the old Loblaws that was down by Geens? It is where the Stephen Licence shop is now. Another fun shop in that area is Boretski’s. Marina has a very interesting shop and it’s always worth visiting (at Front & Victoria).

    • Thanks to your tip, Pauline, we picked up the Star today at Price’s Log Cabin and yes, the much-truncated New York Times section in it was a lot better than no New York Times at all. Thank you! Now, however, because the Log Cabin is the place where all the buses stop, I am plotting about how to find out whether the NYT lands in Peterborough or maybe Ottawa early on Sunday mornings, and whether it could therefore be delivered on one of those buses to little Actinolite… I won’t give up until I’ve exhausted all possibilities!

  5. maybe you could get the library at Loyalist to investigate this for you – they might consider a subscription for the library if recommended by a prestigious professor, and then perhaps they could deliver one for you, too! It would not be on Sunday, but…

    Also the Globe and Mail handles subscriptions for the original New York Times. You could call them to see what they can do for you. From the FAQ section of the globe website: “Do I have to subscribe to the Globe in order to subscribe to The New York Times?
    No, all of our products are handled as separate subscriptions.
    To subscribe only to The New York Times, please call our office at 1-800-387-5400 or 416-585-5222.”

    The librarian in me loves research challenges!

    • Thank you for the good suggestions, Pauline! It seems Loyalist is going very digital in every way (including newspaper subscriptions), but I’m glad you reminded me of the Globe and Mail’s arrangement with the Times. Though since the Globe itself doesn’t publish on Sundays, it’s probably not going to be all that good at getting me the Sunday Times. But: there has to be a way!

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