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walking tours

Friday morning, parents are coming into town tomorrow. Ironically for a pedestrian’s advocate, they still say that a car tells a lot about us, and since I’m still trying to impress my parents, first stop today was at the car wash, Men at Work, on Morgan. The best car wash in town, absolutely, and the best proprietor, Mike, smile as big as a bus.

Speaking of the bus, the R-Line stop is a block down. Grabbed my bag and my lunch and headed east. Bus wasn’t there, so I kept going. Bus wasn’t at the next stop either, so I kept going. After Dawson, you’re committed to hoofing it across town.

The North-South lights are timed for car traffic. The East-West lights are apparently timed exactly to my pace, didn’t stop once. A beautiful morning, bright green new leaves on the trees, clear air, cool but comfortable, wonderful way to start a work day for every reason.

Contentment breeds capitalism. My Camper shoes are several years old, and have developed their first sole holes. There’s no shoe vender downtown. Bought this pair at the beloved Firefly on Glenwood which has now closed and been converted into another Friday-night-college-age tavern. I don’t know much about investments, but I like the theory that you invest in companies that you would buy from. To that logical end, to invest in downtown, I would like a good shoe store, downtown. And a Staples. And an extension of Quail Ridge Books. And a Jos A. Bank, but you can’t fault Jos because they are at least in Cameron Village, which is close enough and walkable in itself.

Come to think of it, there is virtually no retail downtown. If someone were to buy things, as the economists wish we would, what could I buy downtown that isn’t food? I could buy 1) a Segway, 2) Eyeglasses, 3) Art. I think that’s it. 4) Purses. 5) A pool table. 6) A used diamond or guitar. If I walked by a shoe store today, I would have probably bought new shoes today, and a belt. Bravo to those few vendors who have persisted or initiated downtown.

And, there certainly is room for retail. Empty storefronts, that frankly probably used to be retail, are begging to be filled. So much opportunity.

So, if you want to sell things, especially shoes or books, please come downtown and do it. My Campers aren’t getting any younger.


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