Bounty of Berlin

I started a post about all the jobs things I’ve been going to lately, but then I got sidetracked. I was writing it at one of the meetings, and I figured I had better pay attention—I might want to write down what some of the speakers were saying.

That didn’t actually happen, although it was a meeting worth reporting on. But it did get sidetracked, and then I moved on to this: the Bounty of Berlin.

It’s from SaVoir Flare, one of the newer Main Street stores with attitude. The owner, Elizabeth Ruediger, has great taste and sass. She sees Main Street’s potential, and she’s trying to make it happen. Today, while talking about the possibilities in the downtown, she kept using that line: the Bounty of Berlin.

The impact is in how different the line is from people’s perceptions of Berlin. People who live less than an hour away don’t give Berlin a second thought. Why not? Because they have written it off. Mrs. Ruediger’s suggestion is to get what the city offers into people’s faces. I couldn’t agree more.

At the meeting I was at this morning a representative from the state Department of Resources and Economic Development told the crowd the majority of their spending on advertising about the state is spent outside the state. They advertise New Hampshire in Philadelphia, New York and Europe, he said, not in Manchester, Nashua and Conway. When is Berlin going to start doing the same thing? When is the city going to start taking its future into its own hands?

“Bounty” is right. One July 1 the WREN farmers’ market will open, bringing more “bounty” to the city. Soon BIDPA is going to pour $400,000 into a park next to their building on Main Street. The flower boxes line the sidewalks and fill the vacancies left by the two buildings the city cleaned up. Berlin looks beautiful in the summer; it’s time to get people there.

I know there are empty buildings and storefronts. Very soon JC Penney will join them. But the city has to work with what it has, and with Tony’s Pizza open, the Tea Bird’s Cafe sign up (as well as NCIA’s), WREN and SaVoir Flare in and running and Rumorz still open for business things are on the upswing. Now is the time to get behind things, time to really get them going. Now is the moment to capitalize on the fantastic layout of the city, it’s walkability, the treasure that is Tondreau Park, the beautiful architecture and all that makes Berlin special. This may be the best moment the city has to start something new, so it better not let things pass it by.

Just remember: “bounty.” The attitude needs to change inside the city, but it needs to change outside as well. “The Bounty of Berlin” should be the new catchphrase for everyone who talks about the city. It’s time to change some minds. It’s time to keep this ball rolling.

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