Monday, October 04, 2010

30 Hour Holiday continued with a little politicking thrown in

A couple posts ago I mentioned that we headed to Manteo after we left the Big Mill B and B at Williamston.

I wanted to drive through Plymouth. I remember driving through there 18 years ago and then we were really impressed then with the town. We thought "wow, this place is all set to take off, the infrastructure is all there - just waiting for some businesses to move in". There is an awesome lighthouse on the waterfront, another museum, lots of interesting churches and homes.

There are nice light posts like we have in New Bern, there is a board walk on the river, benches, etc. They really have made their waterfront more accessible to the public than we have. Their Downtown is right next to the waterfront.

Why I am talking about this is - a week or so ago at a City Council meeting I heard an excellent presentation by Judy Hill from the Eastern Carolina Council - The ECC provides the organizational mechanism for local elected officials to meet and deal with region-wide issues.

When she finished one of the Alderman said, when are you doing this, why are you doing that, like when are you are going to do this for us and make our neighborhood wonderful.

If you look at what has happened Downtown in the past 20 years you will see that to get to where we are today we had a plan that Swiss Bear and the City put together. As a public/private partnership we made it happen. There has been millions of dollars of private money invested in our Downtown. We didn't sit back and tell the City to make their plan happen. We put our money where our mouths are and took the plan and spun it.

Mr Alderman if you sit back and wait for someone else to do it for you your neighborhood is going to look just like it does now in 18 years. Go look at Plymouth, they have a fabulous infrastructure - surrounded by empty storefronts, pawns shops, and dirty windows.

That being said, just down the road is the tiny town of Columbia. An entirely different story. They have taken this tiny speck of a town and turned it into an art haven. This is largely do to the leadership of director of the arts council, Feather Phillip. 

We had lunch at Manteo and walked around a little. Then we did something else we haven't done in 18 years, drove home via Stumpy Point. If you've never gone that way don't try it after dark and make sure you're not low on gas!

Most of it looked just like it did 18 years ago. For 20 miles there is a ditch on the right, trees on the left, for 20 miles. Nothing else. Seriously. Not one building, not one light. From there another 20 miles, same thing. But then we were pleased to arrive in Engelhard. A tiny town in the middle of no where that seemed to be cookin!

It's always fun to take a road trip. Wish we had more time to do it.

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