Sunday, January 22, 2006

A walk would do you good, Steve.

Mrs. Confidential and I were walking down Spring Street last evening when we suddenly heard voices – above us.

It was disorienting at first, but soon it became apparent that there were people on the second floor balcony of the recently constructed condo building adjacent to Destinations Booksellers. It turns out that at least one of the units has been occupied since last fall.

Continuing toward the heart of town, we crossed the street and strolled south on Pearl, and once again, sounds from the general direction of the sky caught our attention. In this case, it was a hammer, one being wielded by someone working on a window on the second floor of Federal Hill Café, which was almost completely filled with diners.

I recalled Dave telling me that he was pressing ahead with renovations to expand the establishment.

Continuing past the White House Center, we stopped to look at the buildings that Stephen Beardsley owns and is renovating, and the facades that he soon will be restoring, and there was light coming from a second story window. The blinds were parted enough to see a ceiling fan and some pictures on what appeared to be a freshly painted wall.

It must be occupied.

On the other side of the block, there was a festive event in progress at the Grand, and at the corner of Market and Bank -- and finally at ground level -- we saw the “Bistro New Albany” window stencils that went up earlier in the day. Opening is only eight days away for Greg and Dave.

It might be less than that for the new Tacos La Rosita location in the 1500 block of East Market (the former California’s), or so I was told Friday night by one of my customers, who said that it could be open as early as Monday, January 23.

Previously, hiking home after Thursday night’s Coffey Klatch (a.k.a., city council meeting), I peeked into the future Joy’s Coffee Nook (part of State Street Flooring) and saw a Rancilio espresso machine, a nice looking glass pastry case, and a cozy room that’s looking ready for business very soon.

Perhaps if New Albany’s nattering nabobs of naysaying took an occasional walk, they might see the progress that’s being made downtown, although I wouldn’t want to detract from the certainty that stems from the ostrich’s default insularity.

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Over at Diggin’ in the Dirt, Ann has two postings worth your attention, both surveying the realm of positive New Albanian developments, many that are in plain sight for those caring to take the time to look:

Blogging Slacker

New Albany is moving along, and many of its citizens are the momentum behind the movement. Stay tuned.

There’s an important overview of Greenway Commission representative Valla Ann Bolovschak’s noteworthy progress with the Norfolk Southern railroad over the issue of opening a lane on the K & I Bridge to bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s something that needs to happen, needs to happen now rather than later, and has the full support of the hierarchy in Louisville.

New Albany: What's the Public Perception?

What do those of us who own blogs or post on blogs want readers to perceive about New Albany? Do we want to encourage people to move to this community? To establish businesses here? Do we merely want to vent about problems in town? What positive contributions can our blogs make? What are the responsibilities we carry when we post information and opinions on a public blog? I believe these are questions that all bloggers need to consider before they make public postings.

Ann writes of corresponding with a New Albany native who has lived for a number of years in Massachusetts, and who recently made a return visit. She’s now buying a house, planning her return and looking into business opportunities. I met the same woman at Rich O’s last week, and she’s excited about the possibilities in New Albany.

So are we.

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In The NA Confidential Interview: Councilman Steve Price, the following question was asked:

8. What have you advocated for or will you advocate for that would provide an incentive to or lessen the risk for the early redevelopment "pioneers" who are now making themselves known around the city? Have you played a role in attracting these people and/or how do you hope to empower and encourage them and other similar people?

CM Price answered:

If the mission of the “early redevelopment ‘pioneers’” is to continue to bring New Albany into the 21st century with a solid fiscal foundation then I will do everything in my power to support them.

I will continue to work with the existing groups that are dedicated to improving their piece of New Albany, Which in turn will improve New Albany as a whole.

Today we’ve considered more than a few “early development pioneers,” most of whom are undertaking their pioneering efforts in Steve Price’s own council district.

Given that CM Price made absolutely no effort to answer the question as it was written, it’s fair for me to speculate as to his overall level of comprehension.

Has he “empowered” any of them yet?

Encouraged any of them?

Does he even know they exist?

2 comments:

All4Word said...

I'll assume I would qualify as an "early development pioneer," having invested heavily in making a formerly moribund rental office property into a welcoming retail space, and a space for building community.

I will affirm that Mr. Price knows we exist. He once said "excuse me, Randy" while leaving a City Council meeting. Otherwise, no acknowledgement.

New Alb Annie said...

I must have travelled the same route last evening--noted a full house at Little Chef, signs for New Albany Bistro, a crowd at The Grand and then hammering at Federal Hill.

There are so many amazing possibilities in downtown New Albany, and I can't wait to see more and more homeowners and businesses locate here.