Over on my Strange Up Salem blog I've put up another marvelously persuasive post that uses the example of Trader Joe's to show how strangeness is a key to economic development -- not to mention the secrets of the cosmos.
Check it out. Here's a sample:
Bottom line: A place and the people who live there are intimately intertwined. If we want Salem to be a more interesting and lively place, we have to cultivate those qualities in ourselves.
Free enterprise is adept at filling voids. When there is unfulfilled demand for new and different, a.k.a. strangeness, individuals and businesses will offer up out-of-the-ordinary wares.