Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just checking in...

Hi all.  Not much going on really, not a whole heck of a lot to report on, but I wanted to just write something for the sake of writing something.  The new gig keeps me pretty stressed out and working long days, so my life in town has me retreating beneath the covers of my bed almost as soon as I walk in the door. There's a great deal of shame in that as I find excuses not to go to the gym, but there you have it.  I know people say that working out relieves stress, but what if you're too stressed to go?  Anybody got any tips in tricking the mind into getting back at it?

Anyway I digress, there's not much going on at Borough hall either actually, the town's short about a million and a half bucks as you may have heard, so there goes my free parking on weekends at my own apartment. (Actually, we'll see, maybe somebody forgot to carry over a decimal or something.)
Joe, Lana, and Yours Truly
The only things of any interest, and probably only to me, was the stopping by of my brother a couple of weeks ago on his 2 week leave from his year long deployment to Afghanistan.  This was followed up yesterday by the visit of his Canadian girlfriend on a 5 hour layover in PHL.  *Note, yes he actually has a Canadian girlfriend, not the kind that we nerds would make up to tell our friends, but an actual French and English speaking Canadian.  How aboot that, eh?
Yours Truly, Lana, and Sheyla

One of the things they now have in common, (ok, now one MORE thing they have in common) is that they've both visited West Chester.  They both rave about the place by the way, they are so impressed with our nature, our winding roads, our babbling brooks, our historic architecture, and great restaurants.

You know I think living here one might lose sight of how darn nice it is here, and it's something worth preserving as well as promoting.  Now one might think the two ideas can't coincide, but let's face it, if we're ever going to get out of our million dollar hole, it is by preserving what we have, and promoting what we have to others.  Which as you are probably getting it by now, involves preserving what we have as something worth promoting!

(In other words, can we not tear down everything in town willy nilly especially if we're not going to improve upon it?)

That's why I participate on a Historical Preservation Task Force, trying to figure out what kind of things should our town hang on to, and how do we get more people informed and involved?  Should the borough be in the business of helping homeowners renovate the historically approved way appropriate for the property they own?  What does that look like, is it "hand them a pamphlet about how to do it, wish them good luck and that's the end of it?" or  "a financial/tax rebate kind of thing" if they use historically correct materials in any renovations?

Speaking of tax things, I sure hate the idea of being taxed or having to pay for services I currently don't pay for now. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure there are too many people out there who do like to pay for stuff they're not paying for now, but if not that, then it's going to have to be cuts in the services I currently get, and you just know that translates into a poorer (pun both intended and not) quality of life for those of us who live here UNLESS, we can shift the burden onto some other magical entity that would pay for it.

Let's see now, I grew up in Florida, hmmm, I remember not paying state income tax, hmmm, what was it that kept me from paying more in services from the community?  Hmmmm, yes, labor costs were not as much down there that's true, but there was something else, what was it, oh I remember, TOURISTS!  If we can figure out a way, to attract people from other parts of the world to come here, to enjoy what we enjoy, and get them to leave a few coins in our coffers, (while somehow minimizing their impact and demand for services) then we may be on the right track!

Would we as a community, live with our roads packed with 1000's instead of the currently 100's of bikers (the spandex kind) pedaling along the sides of our roads?  Could we tolerate 1000's of bikers (the leather kind) roaring up and down our roads?  Could we tolerate 1000's of ponytailed college girls with shinguards and sticks with nets at the end of them running up and down our fields?  How about Revolutionary War Re-enactors, Civil War Re-enactors, hell, WWII re-enactors having encampments in our parks?  1000's of cross stitchers? 1000's of Roller Derby enthusiasts?  How about minor league baseball fans? I know, I know, we're trying to make money, not lose it here, but hey, has anybody really done the numbers?

I'm sure out there there are people with great ideas, we just have to move them off of the comments section of the Daily Local News and into a forum where they actually get heard by those that can make them come to fruition.

I can tell you what, just like I've learned (or re-learned, pretty recently, I might add) in life, the accepting the status quo is not an option.

So, who's with me, who's got ideas to make this a better place to live? (that don't cost so dang much!)


Mikey said...

How about this? West Chester-Con!

Have it specialize in something like Steampunk. That could bring nerds from all over the northeast to see computer keyboards that look like old typewriters. Now is that a tourist draw or what?

And get a dirgible. Nothing says steampunk like an airship.

As for the myth of the Canadian girlfriend, Ha! Those losers!

Me? I had a girlfriend who went to another high school. You've never met her...

Andrew Rodriguez said...
It's a bit long, but I think it's worth double nerd points when I can link up the subjects of steampunk and Monty Python

Kristen said...

I agree that West Chester is like this hidden gem. It reminds me of Alexandria, VA or Annapolis, MD, only on a scaller scale. Very charming, very beautiful, plenty of great places to eat. But maybe not enough destination shops or a central attraction (waterfront in the case of Alexandria & Annapolis) to draw tourists.

Sorry to hear your job is stressing you out. It is true that working out relieves stress, but only if you don't stress out about getting there. I workout in my house, which is the only reason I do it.

Hang in there - it will get better.