I think great downtown areas in some of the most attractive cities I’ve visited are a lot like artwork.
Take a painting, for instance, that just really strikes you as amazing. You like it. Many times, you don’t know exactly why you like it. Perhaps it’s the color choices or theme. Maybe it’s the positioning of the subjects or the method used to paint it.
Often, it’s a culmination of all these elements together that makes a work of art appealing.
I’ve been to wonderful downtown areas in cities and towns big and small. More observant people can easily break down the individual elements that make them good or bad. I’m not one of them. I just know I like something when I see it.
But Corbin Main Street Manager Andy Salmons is one of those people. He’s floating some ideas our there right now that have opened my eyes. I’ve seen these things in many of those cities that I think are beautiful. Now, I’m beginning to understand what makes these places so attractive and inviting.
Corbin can be that way too.
You can read all the details about things like “curb bulbouts” and “pocket parks” on page A-1 and A-2 of this week’s paper. They may sound mundane to some, radical to others. The plan is to try these things out on a temporary basis to see how they are received. “Rapid prototyping” is the way Salmons puts it.
To me, there’s little doubt these ideas are good ones. We already know efficacy in countless examples the world over. The only real question to be answered is exactly where we should locate these features so they have the desired impact in our town.
I hope there’s not too much delay in implementation. I’m all for thoughtful consideration, but all too often that devolves into needless handwringing and soul searching that ends in “progress paralysis.”
Let’s just go for it. Get a little experimental. Throw off some inhibitions and take some chances.
SOME OTHER STUFF
• I watched the first episode of TruTV’s “Kentucky Bidders” series Monday night. The show focuses on the goings-on at Sammie’s Auction in Corbin.
My review: The show was everything I thought it would be.
• If you are into trash watching, then take a trip down to Cumberland Falls. High water has washed everything in the world down to the base of the falls.
I’ve been to enough falls and lake cleanup efforts to know that I will NEVER swim in a lake or stream in this area again.
• Last year, it was too dry to shoot off fireworks. This year, too wet. We’ve fallen out of favor with the weather. Both Corbin and Williamsburg have, tentatively, put of their displays until this Saturday so if you want to see a free light show, it’s still happening … probably.