Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Walk Downtown

While on errands downtown Thursday, I took a stroll around the as-yet-unnamed county building and noticed still quite a few vacancies in the retail portion. Now Silbert Realty & Management Company is in charge of filling the vacancies. See more about them here.

But a good discovery was a menu of Thai specialties at a West Front Street restaurant.

It was also very pleasant to see the plaza at Park and Front tidied up so that the shrubs, not weeds, were the dominant elements.

I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for being a pedestrian most of the time, but it is still the best way to take in changes in the city, in my opinion.

It is now close to one year since I stopped driving my 1991 Ford Escort, deemed unrepairable by Egenton's mechanics. That verdict plus my increasing loathing to acquire a new car have put me firmly in the walkable/public transit world. I have still been able to do lots of blogging and freelancing without a car.

Tonight's Planning Board meeting reminded me that parking is a major problem in this city, which was largely built and established in the days before the automobile. I often found it was more trouble to get the car out of the garage, drive to some downtown destination and waste time looking for a parking space than to hoof it.

Walk this fall!

Walk your neighborhood. Walk your historic district. Walk 15 minutes in any direction and 15 minutes back. You will be surprised to see what you learn about your neighbors, your environment, your local trees, nearby houses and more. Even the graffiti and sidewalk inscriptions are interesting.

One of the most rewarding sights on a walking tour is to see what people have done with flowers and plantings to show pride in Plainfield. A wall with wave petunias cascading down, a lovely front-yard arrangement of trees and shrubs or an array of colorful annuals or perennials are all delights to the eye and heart-warming examples of pride.

There is much to learn and enjoy in the city, and doing it on foot is one of the best ways.

--Bernice Paglia


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