The last travelogue series post here on "The Journey with Grace" highlighted Chattanooga's exemplary urban development. Well, my hometown of Greenville, S.C., has bragging rights, too. My current home, Nashville, has it's own success story in Hillsboro Village, near Vanderbilt. And, I guess you could add the Belmont region, 12th South and The Gulch and parts of downtown, and, of course, downtown Franklin. Like, Greenville and Chattanooga, talks and dreams and plans for urban revitalization of Hillsboro Village happened decades before the final product was completed. For Nashville, it began in about the 1960s. As for Greenville, I did a story for my high school paper in 1976 about the changes stirring in my hometown's main street region. (This wasn't an assignment by our journalism professor but something that interested me even then. Not so sure if interested anyone else in my high school back then.) So, Voila! Come the new millenium and earlier for Chattanooga and Nashville, hard work paid off and each city has a jewel or at least, for Nashville, a fun and funky little place to hang.
Greenville's downtown, like many was sleepy and largely forgotten. The Reedy River raged and ran over falls down at the end. Oh, the potential. And now, oh, the draw. Sophisticated urban dwellers and too many people take in the ambiance during a weekend sidewalk stroll. Above, top to bottom, left to right: The Old Poinsett Hotel still rises in glory. (The founder brought back the first poinsettas to the U.S.) Love this seating in the lobby of a building across from the falls. There's a Starbucks in the bottom and shopping upstairs and I've been gone from my hometown so long, I'm not sure...it may be a performance hall, too. Toy soldiers stand guard of a Main Street toy store. And, the river.
I love Nashville. But my hometown is pretty sweet in this spot and it's nestling at the Piedmont of the North Carolina mountains. I'm proud of her. Can you tell? Grace and I took my third spring road trip to be with family there over Easter break. And no trip home is complete without a visit to downtown Greenville. The Poinsett photo was actually taken, however, on the last day of a quick trip to our annual Walker family reunion, just before heading to Western North Carolina and the Virgina Highlands late July for my real vacay. More on that in the weeks to come.