Pages

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 - A Year of Progress?

As we approach the end of the year, I like to pontificate a bit on what has worked, what hasn't and whether or not we've taken steps forward or steps backward in our development as a community. Before I lead the witness (my normal approach), I was wondering what you all think. Has Downtown taken a step forward this year?  What do you wish was happening that isn't?

Keep it constructive. For this post, I will delete anything that doesn't advance the conversation. Fair warning!


24 comments:

  1. Not sure if we can say Success yet, but, there is certainly more positive activity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think everyone can agree that there is an increase in  arts and cultural activity and programs.  The people who are attending the events are all having a positive experience and enjoying downtown. The biggest challenge to keeping all this activity is getting the word out there so more people are comign downtown and attending the events.

    ReplyDelete
  3. definitely a need to continue to spread the word. The audience is growing for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have to admit that I have only been able to take advantage of two shows downtown this year...Putnam Spelling Bee and Carolyn Cole.  Both shows were fantasic. Also took advantage of having dinner downtown before the shows and drinks following the shos.  Walking downtown was fine.  Felt safe.  as clean, and looking forward to many mor great experiences!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome. Glad we were able to bring you those shows. So what would make that experience one notch better?

    ReplyDelete
  6. So Mark, in your view, how do we get one step closer to success.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it is great and hope to see the momentum build. At this point I am not sure how to measure what level of success there has been. At times I feel that the success is in a bubble of those who live downtown that have a vested interest in the area talk about it and participate. I am not sure what impact this has had outside the community in terms of bringing outsiders in and improving Lynn's reputation. Maybe it has had an impact, I just don't know.

    What I do know is that the streets are still quiet. Storefronts are still empty and dilapidated. Turbine is lucky to have 2 people inside on any given night and options for food after certain hours are limited. I do not believe the arts programming is and should be the sole contributing factor to changing that. I think with the additional foot traffic from the VNA and development at 33 and 14 Central in conjunction with the arts scene there will be an impact.

    ReplyDelete
  8. agreed. I'm even going to edit my paragraph so this conversation doesn't get too arts focused.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A few of you have mentioned success so far, but the term I used was progress. I don't think anyone is getting the ribbon cutting ceremony ready. :-) Progress is what I'm curious about.

    ReplyDelete
  10. As a long time activist and resident of Lynn for over 45 years, I have seen many changes throughout the years. I see a slow but ongoing movement to make Lynners and outsiders want to come to Lynn. Whether it is a show, concert, arts festival, or eating at a good restaurant, you have it downtown. The meeting at the turbine to discuss make that area an Arts district was packed and there were many good ideas. Lynn is a hidden gem, we have beaches, ponds, woods, High Rock Tower and so much more. I feel safe when I am anywhere in Lynn because this is my city and I refuse to hide in my house! We need to work together and continue moving forward.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Have you seen some good collaborations this year. Things we need to do more of to push the needle further?

    ReplyDelete
  12. More progress in getting people out into the neighborhood and on the streets to help the city come alive. I like when I go to Salem that between the people walking around, the window displays, the lights, the outdoor cafes, etc. that there is a buzz. More progress in making that buzz!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I see a lot of great arts happening in the downtown and some new businesses here and there.  There is certainly more energy, but it's very slow to build the momentum that I was hoping for.....  What I would like that I don't see and I think would help is at least one coffee shop to hang out in.  Doesn't have to be Starbucks, but some place with great coffee, desserts, where you hang out and sit with your computer or a book (yes I still enjoy the kind where you turn pages!)  2) A vegetarian restaurant downtown!  Cambridge and Somerville have opened vegan ones where they are booked at 5:30 at night with people lined up outside the door.  I think  there is a real desire for places where attention is paid to vegetarians.  I'd love Lynn to help fill that niche.  
    I'd also like to see us be part of things like the bike trail, and continuing to figure out ways to make the waterfront expand with ferries etc.  I"m not sure why certain cities like Somerville and Lowell have been able to overtake their past reputations, while Lynn still battles so much.

    ReplyDelete
  14. there are more people waiting for the train in the morning than before (and more competition for fewer seats) and my neighbors are noisier than ever. that's what i've noticed in lynn over the past year.

    ReplyDelete
  15. As an out of towner, my visits to Lynn continue to offer me opportunities to see improvements about the city. Lynn has offered me the opportunity to heighten my conscience and participate in the reformation of a city founded on enlightened ideas of equality and the tolerance of diversity. Since these ideas are enlightened, this city has to be more creative then Salem to succeed.  I'll keep coming to Lynn, and anticipating Lynn's reformation.       

    ReplyDelete
  16. In reference to marking progress, we can see a slow build in our restaurant scene. While things take time, the Ox is already a destination point, Turbine is growing its local clientele and Olympic just opened its doors. On the outskirts of DTL, Sandbar and Brickyard are evolving into destinations to catch a band.

    PS- Love hja's Starbucks reference, as DTL could use a modern 'coffee/internet cafe' in DTL.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I appreciate the Sandbar and Brickyard for what they do, but to increase draw to Lynn we need to host more original touring acts in our smaller venues. Fans will travel anywhere to see bands they like, and then they'll see it's just fine down here!

    ReplyDelete
  18. the shows at the various venues are helping bring in new people.  i have met several people at the auditorium that said it was thier first time, and they would be back.  the addition of Olympic is a plus compared to what was there.  it will be gret when the ferry kicks in, and hopefully some day the waterfornt will pick up steam.  get something new into simply irristable cafe to help compliment the Blue Ox.   even the superbowl games at manning field were great, i went,  did not care who was playing, it was an event, and the fact that I hit the 50/50 at half time made it even better, and do you know what, no one robbed me on the way out.  things are progressing, more restaurants and more shows.  thats what we need.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I found Luli's Cafe on Union Street today. This could be close to the coffee shop experience we're all looking for.  I've also heard East Coast International Church on Munroe is working on something which could be very cool and a comfy place to meet and work.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So encouraging that an out of towner looks at Lynn in that way. I've heard similar things from area foodies about Lynn's diverse cuisine. I think it shows itself in everything Lynn has to offer. Nice post. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great discussion so far, my comments as a downtown resident for about 6 years now:

    The Good/Progress - The Blue Ox!, Tacos Lupita, Capital Diner, Tatiana's going strong.  New(er) restaurants - Turbine, Casa Antigua, and now Olympic Gardens opening up.  Decent attendance at City Hall for shows, The Museum and Lynn/Raw Arts for events, and Arts After Hours providing us with new opportunities to support the arts and get involved. As mentioned the new VNA building, and renovations coming soon to 33 and 13 Central. Lynnhappens, and this blog and social media keeping us informed on upcoming events and happenings and important issues.  Improvements to Train Station and Garage (safety issues).

    The Bad (New/Old issues) - Fernando's closing, the lack of steady flow of out of downtowners to Turbine and Tatiana's.  Lack of local coffee shop. Other events not involving Arts After Hours or the downtown community sometimes don't reach the masses or if they do it's not timely. Vacant store fronts and property in such disrepair that a prospective business owner can't afford to bring it up to code in this economy.  We don't need another convenience store. TRASH, and conditions of property.

    What can we/others do to improve the bad -  Keep supporting our local businesses.  However, struggling restaurants should be advertising more via social media, The Daily Item, reaching out to local residents and businesses, offer specials to get the word out.  Maybe partner with another place and do a cross promotion?  Regular updates/improvements to menu.  The City Building/Inspection Dept.  needs to start fining property owners for the condition of their properties, if already the case then the fines need to be more substantial.  With the VNA opening next year and new residents/artists/businesses on the horizon due to rehabs to 33 and 13 Central hopefully these people will support the local restaurants/museums/shows thus keeping them in business, and the need for more businesses to move in which will attract more residents, etc.

    After the market crashed so did the momentum that a few had started in the downtown.  However I see great things happening in the last 1-2 years and am optimistic and excited for what is to come.  I am happy to be a part of the re-birth of downtown, a baby step is still a step in the right direction!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Union street still looks pretty bad,very dirty, people hanging around on the street that look scary. Who would want a business down there, it's not safe.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Other than material progress... Different communities in Lynn are uniting, more people are caring. It is like a multitude of waves are affecting the waters. The spirit in Lynn must be growing.

    ReplyDelete

Search This Blog

Web Analytics