Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Below the bible belt

Spent the day in the suburbs of Lynchburg, VA. Outside the hotel window a huge LU is "painted" on a hillside for Liberty University, which lies at the base of the mountain. Liberty U, for those who don't know, is the higher education institute founded by Jerry Falwell. One recent infamous grad of LU, was Monica Goodling, late of the Justice Department, and star of a revealing congressional hearing.

The town is booming with an expansion of the "nucular" fuel industry, and while the suburbs are strip-mall America at it's worst, the lovely downtown is experiencing a revival. Nestled on a series of hills on the James River, this downtown is filled with beautiful 19th century homes and commercial buildings and dozens of churches, and a recently renovated court house, at the crest of a steep stairway that seemed daunting in the heat and humidity. A new hotel/condo/brewpub complex is about to open in a former shoe factory on the river.

Terrific Oklahoma ribs in spicy sauce, followed by lemon chest pie at Daddy Bim's BBQ.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ed!

Maybe they're called "strip malls" because the countryside will one day be stripped of them. Too optimistic? I hope not.

Meanwhile, get back soon. Middletown needs you. Very revealing Common Council workshop tonight on the Liberty & Main project. According to the developer, "It's Only Natural" is insisting that its parking lot must have a curb cut to and a wide view of Main Street. The North End is "too dangerous" (WW) to tuck a parking lot behind a building.

Maybe ION should sell organic cars.


Ed McKeon said...

Amazing that a town official in a public meeting would call a section of town we're trying to improve, "too dangerous." It's shameful, and a curb cut will only make the North end more dangerous.