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A Walk with Herkimer Now

Tuesday night, Steven, Tabby and I took a walk with Herkimer Now.

Herkimer Now is a committee whose aim is to revitalize downtown Herkimer, NY. I read in the newspaper about the North Main Street Walk. Steven was off work that day, I was home for work by that time, and Tabby is always ready to take a walk.

We walked from our house to the park by Basloe Library, where the walk began. A number of people had already gathered and were standing around chatting. I was reminded that Basloe is open till seven Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I told Steven we’d have to come down one evening soon (preview of coming attractions). He agreed.

A lady from WUTR was there talking to some of the committee members. They were discussing who might talk on camera. Mayor Mark Ainsworth was there as well as a gentleman on the village board (sorry, didn’t get his name). The WUTR lady would also want to talk to a member of the general public. I told Steven he should do it. He is photogenic and articulate, and he had just gotten a hair cut. He was not enthused.

Kathy Penree (I thought to ask her name) extended a welcome to everyone present and said a few words about the purpose of the walk: to rebuild a presence on Main Street. We set out, heading south. There were over 20 present, and we spread out as we walked. It was a beautiful evening for it, the sun still shining, not too much breeze. I was glad I had worn a sweatshirt but did not need to put the hood up.

Long-time residents reminisced about what used to be in various places. There have been many changes even since Steven and I arrived in the area in 2003 (good grief, ten years ago!). Everybody lamented the empty storefronts and praised remaining businesses who were doing their best to look spiffy. One lady was making notes of code violations to pass on to the village. I’ve read where the village is anxious to crack down on these things but needs people to report them.

We walked almost the State Street (State Route 5) then crossed the street and went back up the other side. Work was in progress in one place that used to hold a club. Somebody said a restaurant was going in there. We saw people currently working in the old Pizza Boys place. A committee member knocked on the door and asked: it is going to be another pizzeria.

“You can’t have too many pizzerias in a college town,” I opined. Others agreed. I admitted to eating pizza myself, even if not a college student.

The WUTR lady was still looking for a member of the public to talk on camera. When nobody stepped forward, I finally said I would do it. Oh, I know some of you readers are shaking your heads with a smug, superior look, thinking I LEAPED at the chance to be on camera and am merely pretending modesty (you know who you are) (even if you deny the smug look). Well, it isn’t true. I haven’t watched the newscast yet (Steven DVR’d it), but I am quite certain I look ridiculously dorky and only hope nobody I know happened to catch the news.

The group adjourned to Christ Episcopal Church for coffee and donuts. Steven and I were happy about this, because we knew it would be OK if Tabby went inside. She has been in that church’s social hall before. Anybody who heard I was on the South Beach Diet will be pleased to know I did not eat a donut.

It was a very pleasant walk. Another one is planned for Oct. 8. For more information on Herkimer Now, you can Like their Facebook page.

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