It is a sad street; buildings boarded up; storefronts shuttered up; warehouses looking world-weary and looking not long for this world. The desolation is creepy at night and, like most people, I navigate my way via another route at nighttime. During the daytime, I’m sometimes drawn to the desolation. It is a desert in many ways, but for me it is also an oasis; a quite refuge. In the middle of an urban soundscape filled with screeching, clanking, and honking; this street is quiet. When I venture there, I have the street to myself and only share the pavement with a few feral cats.
I hadn’t been down that stretch in about two weeks. The unseasonably warm weather has me back to walking and wandering. While strolling that street I stumbled upon something new – signs of optimism and hope; “space for lease” signs in the windows of a row of storefronts. The spaces are being renovated by a hopeful and ambitious real-estate developer.
Soon, there will be entrepreneurs filling those spaces. They have hopes and dreams of growing brand new small businesses or expanding their businesses into something more.
Those signs and storefronts are signs of hope for a community. Those signs hold the promise of jobs and services for folks hoping not to be forgotten and pushed out of their changing neighborhood and a changing America.
I hope and I pray that all the stakeholders get what they want.
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