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Friday, August 6, 2010

We're 200, we need to be 500, what does that mean?

All of our politicans say we need to get to 500 new residents downtown. Well, we got to 200 and lately we seem to be growing again. Where are these 200 people? Ten of them were at Turbine tonight. Where were the other 190? 25 came to Indiana Jones movie night. Where were the other 175? 58 are signed up on Facebook to attend Arts After Hours. Where are the other 142? I'm not saying you ALL should be at everything, but it seems a poor Return on Investment if out of 200 people we're getting 5-20% depending on the event. The success at Blue Ox is happening from out of town. The success at TLGUTs is largely out of town. So, what's the deal? Are the other 90% reading this blog? There's 1900 unique visitors this month and about 10 commenters.  More of you should speak up! What are we missing? Who are you? What would you come out for? 


Maybe a survey/census of the downtown should be our next big action item. Who are we? Why are we here? What do we want?

In parallel, we need to start aggressively working with our local political leaders on creating incentives to get more of us to share in this creation.

-Corey

14 comments:

  1. I completely agree 100%. In part that's why the flyer was passed around door to door because it seems that most DTL folks aren't necessarily staying up to date. Maybe I am wrong but then the inaction is even more frustrating.

    I honestly don't get it. You put your life savings into your biggest investment and I would imagine you would want to do all you can to see the community around you grow and prosper. It isn't going to happen on its own. It takes folks to work together, support our community and let their voice be heard.

    If you aren't part of the solution then you are part of the problem or at the very least do not have a right to complain about the way things are.

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  2. I also agree. I would LOVE to be involved more, but right now my schedule doesn't allow it as I work most nights. Just trying to stay in our investment :).

    No complaints on my/our end. We love all the events going on and do try to spread the word to other building mates when we can. Keep up the good work. I'm guessing as more events are happening more people will become involved. And an improving economy won't hurt either.

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  3. I live on The Saugus side of Lynn. Lets see where i have been to eat and drink lately. Texas Road House, The TIdes, Fat Cactus, Tavern On The Square, Spuds, The 99 in Lynnfield. Do you get the point, not enough to get me to go to DTL. I will tell you I like the shows at the Auditroium and have been to several of them, and here there are some more great shows coming!

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  4. I do believe we're having a more difficult time in accomplishing '500' because developers and the city put condos before affordable artist space. It takes young people, who happen to have less money most of the time, to make a city neighborhood cool again. Then, follow that kind of development with condos for all the 'cool kids' to later complain about ruining their art scene. ;) (That last comment is really just an observation of what I've seen happen in many former run-down areas.)

    On the other hand, the interesting mix we have in DTL now, may mean an opportunity to get it right without a sort of art scene vs. residents clash that happens in most other mixed use areas. That's what I'm fighting for. Most people I know here are pretty excited to be in the middle of a vibrant community.

    But like Kevin says, we have to create the scene we want, that others will want to move here to be a part of.

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  5. Yes I do see your point. While we do need a few more "general interest" restaurants downtown, it has a lot to offer already. In any case, this is certainly not aimed at the Saugus line residents. I'd go to Rt 1 too if I lived over there. With Old tyme Italian over there, I'm suprised you ever go anywhere else. That place is awesome!

    The 200 number is supposedly living right here! That's who I'm interested in figuring out. How do we get you to come outside?

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  6. I agree Corey. When you look at towns where it's a "happening" place there are lots of things open -- not just bars--where people are out and about. Maybe Anthony's or the schol dept can be razed and a public park can be created where people can gather. Well perhaps that's too dramatic but we need some public garden area for socializing and dog walking in the downtown, a cool coffee shop where you can sit and use wifi, a vegetarian restaurant, an Indian or Sushi place, a book store--those are a few things I'd like to see.

    I liked one of your recent blogs where you wrote about a need for a city planner and with input from people who live here. You are doing a fabulous job of promoting events but the media and city should be doing more on all the positive events and places to go in the city too.

    Obviously Lynn is not Salem in the sense that downtown Lynn is not filled with tourist activities that draw in the million visitors a year. Somerville has a theater and at least 3 cool coffee places to hang out in but it doesn't hurt that Tufts is up the street. NSCC is a commuter school and doesn't have dorms full of kids looking for evening fun. So Lynn has different challenges and strengths that we need to capitalize on. We have incredible diversity here with amazing markets--those should be destination areas for people. Lots of people don't realize they are there!

    I've heard from a number of people how difficult it is to get a permit and how unfriendly the city is to new business. Has that changed? If not what are the issues and how can we fix them?

    Lastly, and I know this is being worked on-- cleanliness!!! Who wants to hang out on trashy streets with run down signs and dirty windows. The businesses that are successful look clean and attractive. Those things matter.

    I believe in a prosperous future for Lynn and even though one person can make an incredible difference, many hands lighten the work and make it a lot more fun too!

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  7. Seth, I'm one of those struggling artist (yet in my case, a spiritual artist) that came to lynn in 1996-1997 for it's cheap housing. In fact I lived in DTL, in that rooming house on andrews street. Then I moved to a rooming house on light street. Now I come back to lynn to continue to pour my energy and creative interests back into it. So lynn is a place struggling artists can afford to live and develop their art. But I think the organic process that is happening now will create the best outcome eventually. I see lynn becoming the jamaica plain of the north shore. We have a much cooler vibe then salem ever will. But getting truly original people here is more important then gentrifying the area like salem has, in order to keep our current exciting, valuable, diverse population. True growth has a certain pace, as Judy exclaimed in the Globe article. Each piece of the puzzle is important for the next piece to be right. I think the right pieces are falling into place! I hope Turbine is a good time tonight for all.

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  8. I totally agree that DTL needs a park. There is enough space on andrew street for one now. But I envision a beautifully landscaped park, with playground equipment for children, flowering trees and shrubs, sculptors, paths, benches. This park would be an oasis any great city would be proud of!

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  9. It's not that we're without parks, but the one in front of NSCC is not centrally located, and the museum park isn't truly public, with a fence and gate that locks.

    I agree with Colleen that we should look first for land that's already open. 14 Central is a beautiful building in top shape, so it would be a waste to demolish it. The Hawthorne property is in a key location that should have a restaurant or some kind of retail business on the ground floor. I'm not sure how useful the current structure is, but I think there should be a structure there.

    Andrew Street just might be the spot, and it's a somewhat central location.

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  10. I'm not sure I'm for another park. We have Heritage State that we need easier access to. We have the Common that we need to spark back to life. We have the food project garden on Munroe. We have High rock Tower and the hill in front of that. We have the beach. We have Lynn Woods. If something were to happen on Andrew Street, I would want it to be a building. Perhaps with larger sidewalks and outdoor cafe style seating. Perhaps with a roofdeck or something like that.

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  11. If we can figure out how to link downtown better to those spaces, then I tend to agree with you. But with the amount of available space on Andrew Street, we could support several more structures and a park. I like cozy, comfortable, pocket parks and urban density. The two go together.

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  12. I know there is no park in DTL that I know of with children's playground equipment. The commons would a great place for a children's playground, too. Last week I noticed about 10 kids playing on a sidewalk close to the Commons. I felt so bad for them. They needed to be playing in a playground with swings and slides etc.!!

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  13. It definitely has HUGE implications for housing, especially rental housing. If I decide that I finally can not deal with Mayo anymore, there aren't a lot of choices that are suitable for me here in Lynn. If my friends or co-workers are looking for a place to rent like mine I don't really know where to send them. If I had some $$ that I had to invest in Lynn, it would definitely be a mixed use development with rentals, commercial and retail and definitely a cafe that was open on Sundays. At minimum, I'd have better renderings than this joke: http://mtvernonshops.com/

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