When this tweet crossed my radar Friday afternoon I was enraged.
In retrospect, unfairly so.
At first, I wondered, was it facetious? Surely not. But I wanted to shout from the top of my f-ing lungs, “Are you bleeping kidding me?”
How are we supposed to traipse over to the Farmer’s Market and ignore that developers are doing this?
Oh, la-di-da-da. I don’t see a thing.
I wanted to say thanks a lot. That is the complacent, head in the sand attitude that got us here in the first place.
I tweeted the facetious part.
But later, with more reflection, I read a little closer. I realized my initial outburst had been unfair.
The tweet doesn’t say, don’t let this demolition effect you when you come to the Market.
It says don’t let this destruction deter you.
The difference is vast.
To not let the Liberty Warehouse teardown effect you when you go to the Farmer’s Market is to turn a blind eye to change.
To not let Liberty Warehouse teardown deter you from going to the Farmer’s Market is to continue to support local businesses even as development occurs apace around them and makes it perhaps logistically more difficult.
The first is an Orwellian denial. Truth first. You have to see what is.*
The second is a crucial and imperative challenge if we want to maintain Durham’s character. The city: it is changing rapidly. As this change occurs in the form of development and construction, and concomitant traffic and parking difficulties, if we want to continue to have and enjoy local businesses, we will have to brave those obstacles to patronize them.
I know this issue is on the mind of numerous merchants, restaurants, and other establishments inside the downtown loop as construction at Major the Bull’s Plaza blocks streets and the City prepares to replace the water main dating to the 1930’s (an estimated year-long project).
It is a great time to bike.
*This applies even more stridently to poverty and school inequality in Durham.