We asked our audience at AmherstLive’s Winter Edition for their uncensored ideas to improve our small town of Amherst. And boy did we get ideas! And boy did we have to censor them! Oliver and Baer talked about a few of them on stage, but we thought we’d grab ten of them and list ’em here. The thing about these ideas is that many of them don’t take any large governmental action, don’t require massive funding, just need some passionate folks to get together and make magic happen! Any takers?
TOP TEN IDEAS FOR OUR TOWN
1. Popup Cocktail Bar – much like a roving food truck, but taking advantage of different empty and freaky spaces, create a magical environment, add some live jazz, and serve stupendous cocktails.
2. Crank up The Amherst Poetry Festival – If nothing else, Amherst creates poetry. Last fall’s inaugural Amherst Poetry Festival on Emily’s birthday was a wonderful start. Let’s crank this baby up!
3. Ice Skating Rink on The Common – We got this idea repeatedly from lots of folks.
4. A Real Parking Garage – Some folks want to drive, others want to kill cars, some want to encourage walking and biking, some want to save the earth, some want to be able to visit a restaurant. Whatever the reason, the best way to get folks to start an argument in Amherst is to talk parking.
5. Teenager/Elder Program – Pair teenagers in every neighborhood with elders – they would meet once/week – maybe just chat, maybe shovel snow, eat cookies, etc. Maybe get the Senior Center and ARHS/ARMS working together!
6. Sidewalk Cafes – Open the sidewalks in town for outside tables and restaurants so that more people can enjoy our beautiful town while having a drink.
7. Two words: Public Pianos.
8. Downtown music/performance venue – There’s really no venue downtown where you can go to hear music, or catch a play. What’s up with that?
9. Summer Community Dance – A summer family oriented festival on the Common. Cow chip bingo, music, hayrides, chalk art, pie contest, pig roast, vintage car trophies, superman dress up, toilet bowl race, all culminating in a old-school dance to a live band.
10. Annual Dog Parade – So many dogs, no parade.