Last night was a triumph for Amherst–they held a wonderful block party and it felt like the whole town took part. I was proud of this nearby town for getting something this big together and especially for blocking off traffic from Kendrick Park up the top of North Pleasant Street.
There is something about shunting traffic away and letting people walk that really appeals to me. I’ve seen it in so many places and this small thing makes such a huge difference. In cities like Burlington Vermont, Boulder Colorado, and in nearly every city in Europe, there are these pedestrian only walkways that people just love. For four hours last night, we had a taste of this in Amherst.
I was also happy that my new friends John and Toni who just moved here from Portland Oregon were able to take in the block party, in their new adopted town. It seemed like something that happens every year, I said, but this is the inaugural run. We munched on the Black Sheep’s grilled pesto pizza, and some shrimp spring rolls from Miss Saigon.
Waffles the Clown terrified Maeve, John and Toni’s two-year old, and up at the top of the street the loud music being pumped out by 93.4 FM (I’ve never heard of them before!) was a bit too loud for us. But moving down the street crowded with revelers, it was a great scene.
Kudos to Alex Krogh-Grabbe, the newly hired Executive Director of the Amherst Business Improvement District for helping to make this whole thing happen.