“I don’t think you can have enough live music in our projects,” the man from the faraway company shaping our waterfront’s future said. Cordish doesn’t give a shit and a weasel what happens to The NorVa. They could care less about how the bar’s doing on nights where there’s live music at Hell’s Kitchen, or at Alchemy just up the road. Is there really such an appetite for live music in this region that more music is what we need to complete our cultural and economic puzzle?
I know I’m asking a lot of rhetorical questions, but it’s all just so daffy to me. We’ve got a lot of talented people here doing amazing things. It makes no sense to me how we sick the Cindy Hall Fun Police on the local businesspeople who make life so worth living here, while chasing down these moon shot projects that won’t make one child in Norfolk smile, or love their city more.
Here’s the line from the plans that made me want to lay down on a barge and wake up in Panama: “A common area that will feel like being outside.” Forgive my all-caps, but WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE REAL OUTSIDE?!?!!?!? There’s a giant, well-groomed park RIGHT THERE where it is illegal to play. This is one of the greyest urban cores I’ve ever lived in—is there no more green space that could be developed, among all the concrete towers? Rather than make the indoors of Waterside feel like the outdoors, how about enhancing our real life outdoors (air and birds and shit!) by making the Elizabeth River bike trail a destination that attracts cyclists from across the region.
What Downtown Norfolk needs are a) ways to be active and b) more of a singular Norfolk feel (whatever that might be). I hope as the new Waterside comes into development the City and Cordish keep that in mind. Rather than sweating Stone, build Smartmouth and O’Connor tasting rooms in the new Waterside. Rather than try to go for that old fashioned outdoor feel, give people things to do during bad weather, like a climbing wall or a mini-indoor go Kart track, or putt putt, or IMAX, or anything that is enjoyable and new and doesn’t directly take something of a poo on the local businesses that, actually, are everything I ever want from a city, and the reason I love it here.