I’ve read several letters about how bad our downtown looked for the holidays. The Spokesman-Review has printed several of my letters on this subject going back many years, but it falls on deaf ears. This year takes the cake though.
Our downtown was dreary, dark, pathetic and embarrassing. The lights on the city’s Christmas tree were so dim you could barely see them, and the top section of the tree was dark. Riverside Avenue looked like a ghost town. I muttered: “You gotta be kidding me? This is it?”
On the national news, when they reported from other cities and towns, the background Christmas lights were sometimes spectacular, along with crowded sidewalks of shoppers. When I was a kid, coming down Washington Street off the South Hill, and turning on to Riverside, it would take a kid’s breath away – lights as far as the eye could see.
As recently as the late 1990s, we always would go downtown to shop, eat and check out the decorations and the store windows.
But for the past 15 years or more, our downtown has been a place not worth going to. What a shame and what a total embarrassment.