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Big City Lights system. The AIDS epidemic inflicted more hardships on the City as suburban communities turned their backs on those suffering and forced them into the City to receive care. But the Center City I found on this recent return is a totally different place. People are moving back into its core. Buildings that have stood vacant for decades are being turned into apartments and condos. Old office towers are being reclaimed and refurbished by international hotel chains that have saved architectural treasures. Long-vacant lots are now c onst r uc t ion site s. C enter C it y parks, once grassless and packed with cast-off appliance boxes housing homeless, are now green again. Dog walkers parade by, and musicians, magicians and jugglers entertain for tips. Classically trained Curtis Institute of Music students play their violins down the block from drummers who use overturned five-gallon buckets to thump out the urban pulse of the City. On the streets where I remembered pedestrians running a gauntlet of panhandlers, twent y- and thirty-somethings eye each others’ tattooed arms and legs looking for new ideas to show their uniqueness. In a Big City of millions, people do very strange things to make themselves different, and by doing so, they all tend to look alike. The store windows follow that trend, each

Liberty Center trying to outdo the other. I knew I was no longer in Talbot County when I stopped in front of a shoe store that had its hottest styles out front. It seems that platforms are back. Actually, it looks like stilts are in. Some of them looked as if they should come with training wheels or at least a balance beam. Bicycles are every where. They make a lot of sense in this flat part of the City. The streets were platted in a grid by William Penn in the 1600s to accommodate horse and wagon traf f ic. Parking lots now charge $25 to $52 a day, and they are often full. Bike racks have been cemented into the sidewalks all over Center City, and new bike lanes have been painted on the streets. But just like painted crosswalks on 32

Profile for Tidewater Times

November 2014 ttimes web magazine  

November 2014 Tidewater Times

November 2014 ttimes web magazine  

November 2014 Tidewater Times