The local Facebook and Twitter and Blogosphere are heating up with a controversial article on Greensboro, NC written by CNN. Much like the one they wrote about Charlotte earlier, it spares no bones in highlighting and illuminating some of the more negative aspects of the city.
What I want to ask though, is what do we have that’s positive and unique? Are any of those things newsworthy?
How about Center City Park? On a summer afternoon and even a chillier fall or winter one, you can come, sit on a bench, play on your laptop, cuddle with your lover and let your kids run around right in the middle of downtown. Then you can walk down and enjoy a number of quality restaurants and bars. Sadly though, we are not unique in this, even small towns are revitalizing their downtowns and adding parks and restaurants.
Well, maybe we could highlight our wonderful multi-modal transportation center. It’s a great example of historic preservation, services the Greensboro Transit Authority buses and also Amtrak. But still, the buses and the train are sometimes late. Other towns and cities have this too. Yet, it’s still the largest historical depot in the state of North Carolina.
Even though jobs have been moving away, we still have one good home grown corporation. It’s called RF Micro Devices and it makes semiconductor chips. Wait, you thought all of the technology companies were in Raleigh? Think again. The company made just over 1 billion dollars and its revenue is expected to rise. They are also adding a new business unit.
Still, big companies aren’t always the greatest or most unique either. How about Elsewhere Artists Collaborative? How many places have an old thrift store, with items from the 1930’s through the 1990’s artfully arranged? How many of these thrift stores hosts artists from around the country who use said found objects to create new works of art? Oh and they have a nice grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation.
Unfortunately, it’s the negative that sells papers and dominates airwaves these days. Not the nice walkable Southside and other near downtown neighborhoods. Not the public school system that offers many educational choices to students and has raised its graduation rates among minority students. These young students bear the brunt of the acts of racism the original article profiled that were committed and still continue on.
Yet, a new generation of leaders rises in Greensboro. Ones that can see past the wounds of our past. Ones that have solutions to bring to the council chambers. Ones who have found better ways to worship. And others who just love their city, warts and all.
That generation will hopefully usher in an era that result in the first municipality of its size to reject traditional landfill practices and push for the conversion of waste to fuel instead. A generation that will see public transit and bicycling running side-by-side and throughout the Downtown Greenway. Streets without homeless, because we succeeded in our goal of eradicating the homeless population in our county in ten years. New nanotechnology discovered on the once “bad” side of town.
And then maybe one day CNN can come back and report on that. After all, all those things make us unique too. But in a good way.