The numb crowd converges to consume the forked nutrients of the outliers... that is, art.
What constitutes downtown btown?
May 08, 2019
Marketing jives with real life, as everyone knows; however the signals downtown developers communicate matter. They matter to business owners and the visitors they want to attract. They matter to visitors who want accurate information and those who want different frames. They matter to residents and potential residents who want to be part of the community.
When I was invited to the morning gathering, which was timed in coordination with a large employer's employee coffee break (interesting in itself - no autonomy in taking breaks?), I asked whether the event is mandatory for these folks. I also wondered, knowing the location, whether it was going to be cocktail style (not truly a break) or break room style (comfortable).
It was cocktail style, so I mostly wove in and out with my camera. Covey's words still electrify my synapses: "Seek first to understand," so I naturally compress into observer mode. Being an ambivert, it's easy, but my mercurialness sometimes worries folks, who are perhaps uncomfortable with outlying forms of persona.
Also on the outline of the event was a business owner whose shop is not "downtown." I could tell he was curious. I invited him to have a donut or coffee. He declined, so I asked him about his business. We chatted briefly, then he melted away. I picked up a #getindtownbtown map, said hello to a few people, took a couple more photos, and left.
Today, I look forward to GeGe the Neighbor's Grand Opening this Saturday. I look forward to Geneice's new business staying on the map. She's a smart, young business owner, who has tested the viability of her products, and who has a charming magnetism that will anchor customers to her place in the world (and her cupcake bar). Even if GeGe's isn't on the map. A map that features a 3x4 block area. A map that isn't collecting dust; an entire page features spring 2019 events.
Let's expand the "In Crowd," #btown, and feature the talent that is bringing visitor dollars to town. New media; innovative events; makers, young and old, who teach one another; expanded hours, so mobile workers and exercisers mix over favorite blends each morning. I'm heading down Front Street with #getNfront. There are new things to see, people to meet, and friends of friends to invite to the city.