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4.30.2009

Familiar hometowns, possible Main streets

That crisp feeling, and a scent when you first step out the door on an early spring morning. It's familiar, you know it because you've felt it or smelled it a thousand times before. From the time you were a child, when it held possiblity and the unknown world, through the years up til now, when it still holds possiblity, but the world is better known now, and a little more predictable. There were times when you wanted to escape this place and go places where no one would know you - you would be invisible there, and perhaps the world there would again be unknown, but this place has always called you back. No matter how many times you left or dreamed of leaving, it has called you back into its familiar nest.

There's something about hometowns that we both love and hate, isn't there? The familiarity is sometimes good and sometimes bad. What's really great about hometowns though is when they seem to improve over time. In my lifetime, Sacramento has gone from being a relative cow-town to having its very own star on the map - and not just because it's the state capital. Admittedly, sometimes it does appear to think itself better than it is, and gets a bit big for its britches, but the trees have only grown bigger, downtown has become more walkable, and people seem to be getting more conscientious overall. Seeing old friends in old neighborhoods just adds to the charm. I've always tried to escape it and it appears that I am continuing this trend. Nevertheless, Sacramento holds a place in my heart. So for that, here's a great big shout out to hometowns.

And speaking of hometown improvements, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has this neat little program called Main Street. It is an effort to revitalize the downtown areas of cities that have become - in a word (my word) - blah. It is an effort to beautify the downtown area as well as boost it economically, make it more walkable and promote community events. It strives to capitalize on a neighborhood's best assets, like cultural or architectural heritage, walkable streets and points of historic interest. I love this program. Not that I've ever participated in it, but it is inspiring to me and it gives me hope for our future. Who wants to look at Walmart shopping centers all the time? Not me, but if you know me, you know how much I dislike the way our country's landscape is losing its individuality, becoming homogenized with Walmarts and the other big box stores along all our freeways. Anyway, I'd like to love my hometown more. Maybe our new mayor will do good. I heard we recently broke ground with the railyards area - and that it will take 20 years to complete all said and done, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Maybe by then our britches will fit us.

3 comments:

nicola said...

thanks for visiting my blog! this is a great post and a nice blog! i didn't know about the national trust program!
in answer to your question on my blog...blogger automatically lumps together all labels. it looks to me like you have some posts with labels. now, to get those in a list on the side, simply click on the customize link on the top right corner, click add a gadget. select the labels gadget. i hope i understood your question and was able to answer it!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

aimee said...

oh, a BIG YAY to this!! i'm tired of seeing cities being eaten up by concrete suburbs. the town i live in is not my hometown, but i'm attached to it in that way. it has a beautiful historic area, a thriving downtown and i hope it stays that way.

Tammy said...

I love our historic downtown area. The shops are great! Hi from the SITStahood.