Monday, July 26, 2010

Salad days

It's silly. I wrote that headline without even knowing the origin of the phrase.
But when I looked it up, I found it fits our Amarillo downtown redevelopment efforts thus far.
The meaning: days of youth and inexperience. Translated: We're new at this revitalization game.
But Santa Fe, N.M., isn't. And we could learn a lot by looking to the West.
I viewed the New Mexico's City Different through different eyes on a recent trip. And then I wondered: What downtown changes might make Amarillo, if not a City Different, at least a city with a vibrant enough core to draw visitors, whether from neighborhoods across town or across the region?
Several downtown revitalization groups are trying to figure that out, too. Might it be the aquatic center that's been a topic of possibility?
What features would persuade you to stay downtown rather than fleeing at the end of a business day? What would make you load up the kids and drive in on a weekend?
I snapped this shot at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market, which now draws thousands to the newly redeveloped Railyard District several times a week. Local produce farmers. Flower growers. Raisers of grass-fed beef and organic chickens. Fresh eggs, creamy goat cheese, homespun yarn. Guitarists, cellists and other musicians.
The entire indoor and outdoor marketplace bustles, a showcase for producers and artisans. Chefs in white jackets select vegetables alongside families with kids in strollers and tourists with cameras.
Could this happen in our downtown?
Join in the conversation. Post ideas, and let's talk.


Becky W. said...

It's good to see you back on the blog.

Karen Smith Welch said...

Thanks, Becky. It's nice to hear from you.