New Castle News

July 3, 2013

Big things envisioned for the downtown

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

When I close my eyes, I see an Italian grocery next to Zambelli Park.

Sidewalk bins hold produce from local farms. Fresh bread and spice-rubbed sausage compete with sweeter smells. Shoppers inspect cantaloupes while children take turns on an arcade machine. People chat in the wide aisles.

Across the street, specialty stores feature yarn goods, clothes, kitchen utensils, books, games, candles, soaps, flowers, a Confluence/Hoyt sponsored art gallery.

One building hosts this year’s young entrepreneur winner. A 20-something graduate from the arts magnet school, she has opened an online boutique.

A trolley bus rolls past, bound for Cascade Park. Tonight’s entertainment is country, and a stand-up comedy routine.

There’s a live feed on the local radio station. The Mill Street Theater is showing a movie marathon in support of the classic car show that will take up a downtown block tomorrow. The Warner Museum overflows with folks waiting for a seat in the four-star restaurant next door. The food is so good they might not notice the fireworks later.

Washington Centre now caters to young professionals living in the Merit Building apartments. With so many working from home, easy access to downtown is a strong draw.

There’s plenty of entertainment too, with the Playhouse open nightly, miniature golf across from Dunkin’ Donuts and impromptu street performances by musicians from the North Hill artist community.

The river walk bristles with activity as volunteers set up for the monthly community bash. Couples walk hand in hand over the bridge from Four Brothers. I glimpse a kayak on the creek below. There’s an energy here, a sense of community that makes me want to linger.

When I open my eyes five or six years from now, this is what I expect to see. What is the vision others have for New Castle?

Steve Ramey

North Beaver Street

New Castle