Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Socializing Alone (Wednesday LINKS)

Matt, over at Lost in Columbia, wrote about the younger generation's attraction to more urban communities and how Columbia could be a similar draw if it met some glaring needs, including the elusive "night life."

Barbara Kellner made a very interesting observation in response:

When the 30-something crowd moved to Columbia in the late '60s and through the 70s there was a lot less here in the way of nightlife, entertainment, and activities than there is now. Young and not so young people then didn't have less of a desire for activity. The answer then was, if you want it, build it. And so out of grassroots efforts grew sports leagues, community theater and orchestras, women's clubs, study groups, all sorts of religious congregations and organizations, coop nursery schools, and on and on. Going to meetings was part of social life, but so was going out to the functions held by these many organizations.

That makes a lot of sense to me.  I've often wondered about the merit of starting a book club or a dining club, not to add another meeting to my schedule, but to serve as that kind of social catalyst that the previous generation continues to rely on, whether it be a golf club, church group, or philanthropic organization.

The unfortunate side note is that we wouldn't be the first to be attempting such an effort amongst the "25-45" group.

We lament the lack of a night life, but that's nothing new.  And Columbia is most likely closer to the norm of your average suburban town/community than it is an outlier.  That means the majority of our peers, even those who may aspire to one day own a condo in a city high-rise, are living in conditions very similar to those we currently enjoy.

We've got kids, so did "they."
We've got jobs, so did "they."

But for "them", complaints about "nothing to do" weren't shared on Facebook, they were talked over at someone's house or a nearby drinking hole.  Am I romanticizing?  Sure.  But there is a dangerous trend in Columbia where all the things we "need" are conveniently outside of our jurisdiction:  grocery stores, a night life, mass tran.

Listen to Barbara.  "The answer then was, if you want it, build it."

What are we doing to build our social spaces?


The Orioles won the first two games against the Chicago White Sox, a team fresh off a thrashing of the Detroit Tigers.

Kevin Rector writes that the Troy Park tennis complex proposed for Elkridge may have breathed its last gasp.  After being unable to find private investors, the County has stated that it will not be funding the $44 million project, allowing plans to move forward for the Troy Hill Regional Park, planned to open in the spring of 2014.

Lindsey McPherson presents a very interesting profile of Delegate Frank Turner in this week's Political Notebook, in which Turner recounts hiding from reporters in the capitol during the final hours of General Assembly session.  Del. Turner sat as chair of the subcommittee that examined a new proposal to expand gambling in Maryland and noted early on that the proposal would require "major changes." We all know how the story went from there.  Lindsey was able to get some great quotes from State Senator Ed Kasemeyer to counter some of the criticisms put forth by Turner.  Regardless on where you fall on who was to blame for what, it is impossible to read Lindsey's piece without becoming seriously concerned about what kind of product our legislators will be putting forth before the July deadline.  Doomsday may seem "kinda nice."

Republicans don't see the need for a Special Session and see 2012 as "in the books."  Buried in the text of the piece are some jarring quotes from a Moody's representative suggesting that they have their eye on Annapolis in light of their belief that under the current State budget "local governments could have a harder time balancing their own budgets." 

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Well & Wise posts about the health benefits of dog ownership.  I presume that they do not incorporate "death by running dog down staircase."

That's all for today.  Before I cut out, I want to give a hearty congratulations to my father, Skip Coale, and all the accountants out there for another successful tax season.  Enjoy April 18th.

For the rest of us, have a great day doing what you love!