Friday, June 16, 2006

Wishful thinking...

It's been almost exactly three years since a friend of mine -- who happens to hate Macs -- and I sat on his deck and decided to rouse some rabble in hopes of keeping Merriweather Post Pavilion open. As part of this long strange trip, we talked often in public and private about what's wrong with Town Center, and Columbia/Howard County in general. Many of these discussions focused on what's missing.

To be sure, there is plenty of stuff that we should have but don't. And our conversations often came back to something that was emblematic of our plight and our (well, my) preferences. Namely, a place where I can buy guitar strings.

You see, I play guitar with the same finesse and delicacy of a jackhammer crunching pavement. As such, I'm frequently changing and, by extension, buying strings. In order to meet this need, however, I'm forced to drive to Catonsville -- like I did today -- which inexplicably has three places that sell high quality guitar strings (Martin SP 80/20 bronze Mediums, please) within walking distance of each other. Howard County, on the other hand, has none that I have found in 15 years of living and playing music here (Music and Arts Center doesn't count -- their prices are twice that of a reputable dealer).

I'm sure you can say something about the free market and a lack of demand. But, come on, we've got almost 300,000 people living in this county, there has to be enough musicians in the mix to support such a store (I, alone, could keep them afloat with my string purchases, at least for a time).

But that's just me. What about you? What type of businesses or attractions do you think we should have but don't?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, we could use one of these. At least that way you could get to Bill's Music in about 10 minutes.

mary smith said...

In Blacksburg VA, Virginia Tech students entered a contest and modified a house to produce all required energy to run the household. It would be great if University of Maryland were interested in such a project, entered the same contest, and then opened the house to field trips and outside tours. This is so fascinating.

mary smith said...

To view the VA Tech house:

http://vtsolar.arch.vt.edu/

Hayduke said...

UMD has already built two solar houses, one in 2002 and one in 2005. And, they're gearing up for another in 2007 . How about HCC or the county's Vo-Tech program (I know Vo-Tech's not the right word anymore, but you know what I mean)? I'd love to see a demonstration built in our county.

It's a shame, I think, that HoCo hasn't done more to encourage green building.

Anonymous said...

One ideal building for green architecture is the Nature Center that Rec and Parks has planned for Blandair Park. They've already received requests to build it green. Getting HCC and/or Vo-Tech involved with it just seems to make all the more sense. And we do have a little cluster of green building folks just down the road in Jessup.

P.S. - Rec and Parks should drop the Multipurpose Building from the Blandair Park plan. There's plenty of other public buildings in the County - leave the parkland as parkland.

mary smith said...

I'm far from the expert, but there are additions being made to solar power. I'm seeing items like exercise bikes that produce electricity, and while it's not much, it can be stored for later use. My sister had the idea to open up a gym that uses these devices! The possibilities are fascinating.

Now, how to expand interest?

Anonymous said...

WHOLE FOODS. C'mon already!