People of Delmarva, do you ever stop and wonder- why does Salisbury suck? It's a simple enough question....and yet, the people who should be asking it-Terry, Deb, Tim, and the Mayor-don't seem to care. Could it be because these elected officials are laboring under the delusion that Salisbury does not suck...that in fact, Salisbury is great? All signs point to yes.
Unfortunately for those of us who have managed to load up our horse and buggies to make the perilous voyage across the Chesapeake to the New World, it is glaringly apparent that in many arenas Salisbury is coming up disastrously short; night life, cultural diversity, job availability, and basic sense of community are just a few of the categories in which our little town- to put it delicately- fails.
But why are we failing? What's holding us back? The Other Salisbury News is of the opinion that Salisbury is suffering more from a lack of leadership and vision than from a lack of ability or resources. Thus, in an effort to alleviate this problem, we are going to introduce you to our Dream for Salisbury:
First of all, the river is clean. There are boats in it (their passengers are all smiling and waving to one another) and fish (without tumors) are jumping in the light of the setting sun. As children leap out of their crafts for a swim, a nearby heron takes flight and glides over the reflection of Downtown Salisbury floating on the water. Music fills the warm night air as college students and homeowners (who all live in the Camden Neighborhood and coexist peacefully) walk across the bridge toward Main St...
Main St. is all a bustle. Delis, ice-cream parlors, coffee shops, art galleries, record stores, and even a local butcher open their doors to the public. Families (who vary in background and ethnicity) stop to chat with friends and neighbors who are dining outside at their favorite restaurants, while the college crowds mingle and socialize in the doorways of bars (there's an irish pub, a sports bar, a cocktail lounge, and even a grown up arcade- the clubs don't open til 10). People set up blankets and lawn chairs in the parking lot outside Sperry Van Ness where an outdoor film is about to begin. Others make their way towards the front of the City Government Building where a Chalk-Art competition is underway (lots of famous artists from over the bridge have come to participate). Meanwhile, a Bordeleau wine tasting is going on at the Old Synagogue (which was sold to a young couple who converted it into an organic grocer) while children lick lollipops outside the corner candy-store.
...Did we mention this was a normal Wednesday night of no particular importance? Ah, well it is.
Delmarva, Salisbury has amazing potential, but it isn't going to fix itself. We need businesses. We need community outreach. We need market creativity. We need a stronger police force. We need to stop focusing on what fiscally divides us so we can start focusing on what socially unites us. But we can't do any of it if the people in charge of our money and our city continue to do what they've always done. The close-mindedness and lack of sympathy and imaginative scope that plagues Salisbury is literally killing it. If we do not see a change in the budgetary priorities and political perspectives that have become characteristic of our Mayor and Council then the vision of Salisbury that we all share will soon be lost. We'd all love for Salisbury to be a home we can be proud of...let's stop letting the pride of a few stand in our way.