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Let Us Turn Our Thoughts Today to Martin Luther King

The following is one of my favorite works about Dr. King:

Let us turn our thoughts today
To Martin Luther King
And recognize that there are ties between us
All men and women
Living on the earth
Ties of hope and love
Sister and brotherhood
That we are bound together
In our desire to see the world become
A place in which our children
Can grow free and strong
We are bound together
By the task that stands before us
And the road that lies ahead
We are bound and we are bound

If you are a fan of singer/songwriter James Taylor you know those words from his song “Shed a Little Light (iTunes link).” His words echo what I think King symbolizes – “hope and love”, “sister and brotherhood”, “all men and women.”

A very relevant part of his song is “We are bound together/by the task that stands before us/and the road that lies ahead.” The road that lies ahead is Martin Luther King Blvd which runs from downtown to the city limits. The task is returning this street to an important part of the community – a street worthy of its name. We are all bound to this task because we cannot rebuild our city by continuing to ignore the north side.
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The definition of a community center

November 17, 2004 Local Business Comments Off on The definition of a community center
Before the rise of sprawl community centers weren’t needed because the street served that function – neighbors seeing each other as the walked from home to work to store. As we began to drive more and more the idea of a community center to create some false connection between neighbors began to sprout. Most fail as they are artificial.


But we are seeing a new kind of community center, the corner coffeehouse. Starbucks isn’t new but they are also not the sit and lounge type places. Groups don’t hold meetings there. No, it is the local corner coffeehouse that is taking over duties in bringing communities together. Besides doing social duty to bring neighbors together they pay for themselves by selling coffee, bagels, sandwiches and smoothies.

As I type this post (and the previous) I am sitting at Hartford Coffee at the corner of Hartford and Roger in St. Louis’ Tower Grove South neighborhood. Fellow REALTOR® Fred Hessel is sitting at the next table working and a friend just stopped in to get a danish & coffee. Other folks I recognize but don’t know have come and gone. We nod to acknowledge each other.

(Exterior of Hartford Coffee)

The future of neighborhoods are not huge sports stadiums downtown, parking garages in lieu of historic buildings or big box retailers. The future is the local coffee shop within a 15 minute walk of your house.





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