Sunday, June 17, 2007

100. Too Busy Shopping

We've been too busy shopping to take photos. We've been too busy shopping to do much sight-seeing. We've been too busy shopping to ... Well, you get the idea!
But we visited my alma mater, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The University has a beautiful and huge campus, with buildings in red brick, Georgian-style. The campus is very well-maintained, with the buildings relieved by large chunks of deep green lawns and large shade trees. Slant walk, which cuts across the main quad gives a small view of the balance of architecture with nature.

The town is also post-card beautiful. It's main drag, High Street, is a wide, clean street that is smoothly paved and clearly marked with cross-walks, with well-maintained traffic lights and easy-t0-read street signs, with open, inviting side-walks and nice-looking, frequently emptied trash cans at convenient locations. The storefronts are well-maintained and beautiful. The streets have potted plants in hanging baskets and small trees to add a bit of nature's beauty. The parking spots are angled for easy access and the meters are in working-order.

The shops have a nice variety of clothes, souvenirs, books, and other things to buy. There's a balance of eatieries and coffee shops. The prices weren't especially cheap, but the shopping was still fun and interesting.
There was a small park, with a flat place having a few sprinkler-style fountains that little kids could run through. There were park benches at several locations, around the park and also along the sidewalks lining the main street. The gas station is at the end of the strip and was clean.
If shopping, walking, enjoying the park, drinking coffee and chatting were not enough, there was an outdoor garden show, a drum ensemble playing, and an art exhibit with juried flower show inside an old building that housed the community art center. All for free (donations requested).
And the whole town seemed to be hopping, with a comfortable amount of people out and about.

Saipan would do well to learn from this small Ohio burg, to see what is inviting to tourists and keeps bringing people back, spending money, investing. A good learning institution, a beautiful environment, a well-regulated and maintained attention to order, cleanliness, and access. We could do this.

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