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The town square

Posted by Rona Fischman March 12, 2009 03:34 PM

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Last week, we talked about the perfect density for a home. Some tried to put a town name on the place. Remember, we are doing fantasy, not reality.

Today, we talk about what is in town when you go to town.
What is in your fantasy town center? Is there shopping? What kind of shopping? Does it have stores with everything and anything you want, big stores? Or are there Mom and Pop places with specialty items? Both?
Are there cultural venues like theater? Museums? Live music venues?
Are there places to go on a date? Restaurants? Movies?
Is there street life? Does the town hold farmerís market or street vendor events? Is there a childrenís recreation center?
What recreation is there, overall? Is there a municipal pool? A skating rink? Tennis courts? A track? Parks and wooded walking paths?
What annual events would you want to have? Fireworks? Parades? Races? Fairs?

Create your perfect town or city here.

OK, me first again:
I want an urban walkway. The current rail-trails are a good start. A T stop in the square would help with congestion. Iíd use it. Put a parking garage a few blocks out for the car-bound folks.

I want an open space that has shade trees. So during festivals, I donít fry my head off. The area where they hold the New Bedford Folk festival would be perfect if there were shops and restaurants nearby that stayed open. The shops would include lots of eateries, some artsy shops for gifts, venues for fresh food for dinner to allow French-style shopping; I would love to pick up fresh bread and veges on the way home. Allow street musicians. Donít allow street retailers. Outdoor dining. Outdoor coffee house seating. Playground in one or two places on the edges.

The square would have music festivals either on three or four weekends a year or for a week or two annually (think Montreal.) There would also be an outdoor art festival in the summer and an indoor one in late autumn. Hold a weekly farmersí market in season. The square would support a theater for live performance, some small music venues and a movie house.

As you know, Iím a city girl. If I transport this into a smaller town or suburban area, I would want more or less the same thing. I would add a major shopping area with large retail, like grocery stores and hardware stores. Iíd put it in a separate area of town as its own shopping and dining destination. Towns benefit from a center where there is park space and music/arts venues that have some charm. They have the room to put the utility retail shopping areas in another spot.

Whatís your fantasy town look like? What's wrong with the town center where you live?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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