I can appreciate the concern that letter writers have expressed over the “messiness” of the bump-outs on Main Avenue, and I agree that, in general, they clutter the picturesque charm of our historic downtown.
But I also want to say a word for one of them, which stands out in my admittedly biased opinion: the shady “parklet” in front of Maria’s Bookshop. This delightful, green oasis has provided something all summer long that is foot-sorely lacking in Durango, a comfortable place to have a seat and take a break during a day of shopping.
No purchase required! If you’re lucky, you might even liberate a ripe tomato.
And you should hear the impromptu concerts put on by passersby who enjoy playing the colorful piano – a recent addition that seemed to appear as if by magic. Who knew there were such musicians in our midst?
Years ago, we lost our downtown public benches and the city has been unable to find an answer to the issues that caused their removal.
Perhaps the Maria’s seating area – which was extended by Tequila’s restaurant this year – offers a model solution: private businesses stepping up to provide a community service for weary downtown shoppers.