Last week’s NPR Note concentrated on what I see as a distinct step up-market by our restaurants. We thought about going to Boulevard Beef & Ale Friday night. They were completely filled up! What Joe is doing there is clearly working.
I got a note from Jane, who checked out the Dulcet’s Sunday Brunch this past weekend:
“We took your advice today and had brunch at the Dulcet restaurant. Congrats for helping to have them open it in New Port Richey. It is small, therefore more intimate. We so enjoyed the video on the large screen at the end of the room – this afternoon it was music from the Frank Sinatra era – most enjoyable. Our meals were beautifully served and very tasty. A nice find in our “neck of the woods” – we will visit there again!!”
Now that we have folks attention, we need to take a look at our neighborhoods. Some of this, like fixing the historic stone light poles and the pink sidewalks in my neighborhood, are things that the city needs to do. Much more though is what you and I do to spiff up our own homes and lawns.
My wife and I added a chain link fence a couple of weeks ago. We spent a little bit extra to get it in “green” so that it blends in with the vegetation in our yard. You can’t see it from the street unless you look closely.
Last month, I had the black decorative fence out front power washed and repainted. I spent this past weekend power-washing the stairs and the deck on the garage. I also did a few other little things around the yard and made a Home Depot run to pick up some odds and ends I’ll need for next Saturday’s projects.
I’ll be working my way through my list of projects now that it is possible to work outside without winding up with heat stroke in minutes. My goal is to have all of the outdoor projects done before things heat up next summer.
None of this is major, but it all adds up. My neighbors are doing the same sorts of things. Little updates here and there that add up to a nicer looking neighborhood. The little things are combining into something larger than the sum of the parts. People are getting excited. Some of my neighbors are even planning a block party to celebrate the newly refurbished stone light posts!
I know we’ve got folks who simply can’t afford to deal with some of the deferred maintenance items around their homes. The city has instituted a residential “fixup” grant program to help these folks out. We’ve got volunteer groups willing to provide the “elbow grease” necessary to help some of our senior citizens fix things up.
Fixing things up is contagious. The city just finished the Plathe Road paving project and I’ve gotten emails from folks living nearby asking if we can pave their road too. Just like one nasty looking home can pull down a neighborhood, fixing up that home starts the process of improving the whole neighborhood.
The city is willing to do its part. The city council will be revisiting the residential parking issue in a few weeks. Getting some of the worst offenders, some with as many as five or six vehicles parked on their front lawns, to clean up their act will help improve the “curb appeal” of our city.
We need all the residents of the city to pitch in and do their part as well.
In addition to making individual homes look better, we also need to be aware of things that don’t belong. A fellow down the block from me stopped me Friday to let me know that there was a K-Mart shopping cart chained to a palm tree in our neighborhood park. I called the police dispatch number and asked them to put it on their list of things to check out.
If you see something or someone that doesn’t belong, say something!
If we all do our parts, we can spruce up our neighborhoods and our city.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor