This four block downtown area rocks. It is brick, with brick buildings on both sides. Businesses are on the first stories, with apts. on the second and third. The middle of the mall includes outdoor tables for cafes and restaurants. Some, though not all of the businesses are upscale – there is a variety, including a homemade ice cream parlor, several book stores, a cinema, a children’s discovery museum, a free speech wall where people can write whatever is on their minds in chalk (it is erased daily), a carousal connected with the discovery museum. There is a pavilion on one end where live bands play, often for free – we heard a great reggae band last Friday. The town turned out, multi-cultural and multi-age, including a number of aging hippies. There are street performers, from classical violinists to acoustic guitar players to an accordionist singing “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” Photos left over from the recent photography festival remain on display – huge posters of wildlife photos, others focusing on the conflict in Syria, others showing the impact of climate change world wide. The Paramount theatre hosts many events; we heard a great wildlife photographer speak during the festival, and saw a festival of short films the other night. People flock to this place, anyone who says pedestrian malls do not attract people needs to visit it. There is even a fellow who wears a blindfold and offers indiscriminate hugs, his antidote to the conflicts and alienation in the world today. We are still exploring and considering options for our future lives.I will try to blog when we get to the library and I can use a real computer… travel pads work for email, but are a real pain for writing anything more than a sentence or two. This theme of displacement in the days of globalization, with all that implies, will continue on my blog.
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