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You are here: home > opinion > in my opinion

My vision for Pittsboro's future

By Monica Howell
Posted Wednesday, February 28, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - I have had the pleasure of being a resident of Chatham County for 5 years this February and now the owner of a small business in Pittsboro for a little over a year. I am definitely proud to say I live here and I encourage people to come visit. Pittsboro is one of the sweetest towns I have ever been to.

It's charming, pretty and inviting. I love the fact that when my daughter and I walk into the General Store Cafe that patrons say hello to us. I also love that when I walk to the bank I see at least three people I know and we stop and chat for a minute.

The appeal to me of Pittsboro is that it just is what it is

I love the cultural and artistic diversity in Chatham County. Pittsboro is a wonderful display of our counties finest artists. Just walk anywhere downtown and chances are you will either wander into one of our beautiful art galleries or even better run into one of our many artists. Being a local artist myself, Pittsboro, and all that it has to offer inspires me to create.

Therefore, I would like for any growth and change in Pittsboro to match our community's needs. We are a huge art community, having an after school art program that encourages our young budding artists to use their creative energies. Whatever the desire they have artistically, wouldn't it be great if we could offer that here in Pittsboro. An after school art school that offers music, dance, painting, sculpture, jewelry making, glass blowing, pottery and more.

I think change can be good as long as the result benefits the whole.

Our community is strong. The people who live here and work here and do their business here is what gives our town its strength.

For example: I love being a small town business owner, the camaraderie alone is comforting. When I first opened my store in December 2005 other shop owners came to me and introduced themselves and welcomed me to Pittsboro. You wouldn't get that in a big city with a more competitive market. I welcome and encourage other small business owners to come to Pittsboro to start a life and business in our town.

What I don't care to see are strip malls and "big brother" shopping centers with Super this and that stores that run businesses like mine and all the other small business downtown out of business.

I like the fact that I have to drive twenty minutes or so to get to Target in Apex, it gives me an opportunity to listen to my music uninterrupted. I also like the drive back knowing that my town is, well just what it is, my small town. I believe that parks, neighborhoods and schools should have trees. I don't see the point in cutting a plot of land when you don't have to. There are plenty of vacant buildings close to town and downtown that could be turned into avenues that better our community on a whole.

For instance, the Chatham Marketplace was an excellent concept and they found a fantastic place to put it. The old Chatham Mill, what a great place to grow new business in our town. A change I would like to see would be sidewalks to Chatham Marketplace.

I also like that Raleigh is adopting the idea of making the whole city lit with LED lights, it saves on energy as a whole and brings about a brighter and safer environment. Imagine a sidewalk from downtown to the Chatham Marketplace and along the sidewalk have street lamps with LED lights.

This leads me to the Main Streets program.

I encourage the idea of the Main Streets program as long as there are no hidden agendas. It sounds like it would be a fantastic way to give Pittsboro a face lift without major reconstructive surgery. I feel as though this program could help our town in many positive ways including paying proper tribute with a "Museum of Pittsboro". The Mill, in my opinion, wo

uld make a great place to put a museum. I am also in favor of an 'old town' movie theatre, like the one in Chapel Hill (I envision this being at the old Ford dealership). How cool would it be to have our very own theatre? Dinner and a movie in Pittsboro? That would be huge! What would be even better is a sidewalk connecting the two. Fine dining? Absolutely! I think we are ready for white linen and delicate southern cuisine with more than one fork.

Liquor? I don't care. I could take it or leave it I guess. I would like to offer a request though, that if a Pittsboro restaurant starts to sell liquor can you please carry Knob Creek? Thank you.

The appeal to me of Pittsboro is that it just is what it is and everything is 'all right' here. It soothes me to know that my husband and I are raising our daughter in a town where people care about other people and it just works for us here. Pittsboro is the kind of place I always envisioned that I would raise a child and that vision is fortunately a reality.

Even with inevitable change I can imagine that I will forever, no matter where I am in this world call Pittsboro home.

Monica Howell is the artist/owner of the Bead Hive in downtown Pittsboro.

 
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The Bead Hive
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