Thanks for the welcome home veemurveemur wrote:
Welcome home, Queen Anne! Appreciate your thoughts.
And, yes - there is so much to be proud of in our fair city!
Adelaide is rated in the top ten of the world's most liveable cities. (Feb 2010) The Economist - annual survey http://bit.ly/akY5Gx
Will be interested to hear more of your views on changes, directions etc.
I think the thing that strikes me most about my return home is how much I took this place for granted. For example, while we were in Seattle George and I discovered a great radio station called KEXP, a listener supported station where the announcers program their own shows. During their pledge drives they would mention how rare independent radio is in America. And even more interesting is the fact that they broadcast into New York City from Seattle - so there seems to be some strange story there about the state of independent radio in NYC. It made me think of lil ol' Adelaide and Three D Radio. I was really proud to think our city can sustain something like this. Shame on me that I have never subscribed to Three D. Lesson learnt.
It's a similar story with our independent shops and places like the Central Market. While I was away I learnt that the way I shop matters to me. I want to shop where I can feel closer to my food, and closer to my community. I took my local butcher for granted, I didn't patronise my local greengrocer or baker enough and they closed down. Living in America - a place that is horribly dominated by "big retail" - made me realise how precious these small businesses are. I am really bothered to see examples of American style retail, with its box stores and power centres, popping up all over Adelaide - even at the end of my own street where Super Amart and Baby Bunting have moved in along with their ugly, soulless building and their large carpark. This is a change in Adelaide that I personally dread. But I can see it happening, and reasonably fast too.
On a happier note, I think Adelaide seems a bit busier and livelier than before we left. We have been enjoying going into town and people watching. After living in Seattle (which didn't strike me as an especially culturally diverse place) I've been enjoying seeing so many people from other countries making their home in Adelaide. Our city is definitely a more interesting place due to our multiculturalism. We are lucky to have such a diverse community. We do notice, though, that when we are in town on the weekend daytimes the city is still rather quiet. That's a shame, and it seems sad that there are so many empty buildings in town that could be filled with people whose residence would help ensure life beyond office hours. George and I would move into town now, if only there was somewhere we could afford to live.
Before I go I thought I'd explain my strong negative reaction to the SA Water building. The building is not awful in itself, but I can't like it because I just don't think it's good enough for the location it's in. It seems like being on Vic Square doesn't matter a fig to this building - it could be anywhere. Such an opportunity lost to lift the expectations around the square. That sad little concrete plaza to the north is baffling in its awfulness.
Anyway, I've gone on more than I intended, but I could probably go on all day - it's so interesting to be able to look at your hometown through new eyes!