In The Summer - 2017 Issue
Jun 08, 2017 03:13AM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger
We sometimes stop for something to eat at one of those manufactured communities—I think the industry term is mixed use developments—that dot the outskirts of cities we frequent, including Richmond, Baltimore and D.C. Unlike “real” towns, these idealized versions of Main Street more closely resemble a movie set than someplace I can envision living.
You can’t argue with the conveniences they offer. Everything you need—groceries, movie theatres, dining and shopping, as well as your home—is within walking distance. This model replicates neighborhoods of old (and that still exist in Europe) where walkability—to schools, stores, restaurants and necessities—remains the desired norm.
There’s something eerily science fiction-like about these perfectly crafted, one-stop living frameworks, though. Perfectly paved streets are tree-lined and town homes are built to resemble treasured architecture of the past, with wrap-around porches and gabled eaves. But they all look alike!
And these communities pale when you compare them to our authentic Central PA downtowns, many of which are experiencing a resurgence due to efforts on the part of downtown development organizations, Main Street managers and visitors bureaus that promote the authentic, desirable experiences offered downtown. These gateways to our communities brim with history and charm, and tell a story of a past—our past.
To save what we have, it’s critical we utilize our downtowns. When you think about where to shop—think downtown. Looking for a meal out? Look to your downtown. Just need to take a walk? Take it downtown. With the advent of Susquehanna Greenway-designated River Towns, there are more reasons than ever to embrace your downtown.
Use our Around the River listings in every issue and online events calendar at SusquehannaLife.com to find events in downtowns near you. Can’t find your downtown’s events? Feel free to create an account and add your events—free of charge!
Reacquaint yourself with parks, sidewalks, alleys, recreation, natural resources, entertainment, architecture, festivals, shops and shop owners of your downtown. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find!
Your opportunity to celebrate downtowns comes June 21 when Lewisburg Downtown Partnership hosts a Market Street-wide ribbon cutting to celebrate the vibrancy of downtown Lewisburg. Bring your scissors, grab your favorite spot and join in. Checking Lewisburgpa.com for more details.
Enjoy your summer, and make time to get outside!
Erica L. Shames
Founder & Publisher
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