I just wanted to leave a quick (is that possible from me?) word about this town again. I know I went on a tear and ripped it a new one for traffic problems earlier this week. But, as I said on that post, I still love my city dearly and today, I saw more of why.
The collective response from businesses downtown personified. (Jim Moody by ©Jack Pennington)
There was some condescending post from someone in some official capacity that was directed at businesses downtown who are struggling that says that perhaps these business owners should take some class at the local community college to learn how to start a business or how to make their existing business better as if they don’t know how to operate a business, already. The idea was that the businesses downtown are just whining about the closure of Biz 40 and whatever.
Well, to that person who wrote that garbage, screw you, pal!
These businesses were thriving before the closure. And, I don’t blame the road closure. I blame scare tactics, whether on purpose or inadvertently from media and officials about how bad it is to be downtown now that Biz 40 is out of commission.
Granted the closure of multiple bridges all at the same time has cut a few arteries into town but you can still maneuver. Come from Peters Creek or go a little further east to Cherry or even 52 to get into town.
There are people who will complain just because they already hate the town about how bad the traffic is now that there are only a few arteries into town. Suck it up, furball, this is what progress looks like. That road was built at a time when we were just past covered wagons and it needs to accommodate 100,000 cars a week. It needed to be gone. If you already don’t want to come downtown, there’s nothing that we can tell you or do that would change your mind. We’re not looking to.
Who we are talking to is the people that have just been talked into being scared of being downtown. If you let that nonsense set in, you’re going to set this town back 15 years to what it was when no one wanted to come downtown. It will go back to being a “suburb without a city” that it was in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. You can get to it. Just give yourself 20 minutes more to get there. Be patient. We all have to go on those same roads and none of us want to traverse the traffic any more than you do, but we who love downtown for the friends (personal, interpersonal and figurative) we have grown to know. To us, it’s worth the hassle. It will be over soon.
There are plenty of downtown businesses that need your support. It’s not Biz 40s fault, it’s the naysayers. Don’t listen to them.
Tuesday I was at Finnigan’s Wake. Wednesday I was at Zesto Burgers. Yesterday, I visited Coffee Park (Arts), Zesto Burgers (no, it’s not downtown but it’s independently owned in town). Today, I went to Footnote Coffee at Foothills, West End Coffeehouse, and Mr. Barbecue. What businesses did you support this week? The ones you did visit, they appreciate it and I appreciate it because when you support them, they’re there when I want/need to go there.
I know all of that is food/beverage related and The BCPF and I going to Xcaret tonight with friends downtown, but it’s not all about food places. Retail, services and other industry downtown need your support. They support each other but they need you.
The camaraderie between the “allies” and businesses downtown has made me smile and it’s uplifting in a somewhat troubling time.
If you’ve not been downtown WSNC (or close proximity to it) lately, take a bit of time to go explore. You may find that it’s not as difficult to traverse as you’ve thought/been told. Andy, you may find some really cool things you didn’t know was there. Tomorrow is Saturday, take a drive, shop, support, enjoy!
Second time this week that my soapbox has been out from under the bed. I apologize, or really sorry (not sorry). And, I know, too, that it was not quick. Sorry (not sorry) for that, too!
Until tomorrow, where I’ll hopefully see you out and about…
“There is not a one-size-fits-all solution.” – Jim Moody