In With the New
As another year comes to a close, I find myself thinking more about the year to come. Let me begin by saying that this is more of a personal chat between us and therefore, I am deviating more than I normally do. At the end of each year, I do my own evaluation and it normally begins by acknowledging the good and triumphant moments followed by my own critiques and acknowledgement of my shortcomings. From there, I set new goals for myself and a plan of action to make them become a reality with estimated time markers included.
For many, it seems as though a new year is just a continuum of what was already in progress, a “life goes on” type of mentality. For others, a new year represents a new beginning, a clean slate or at the very least, the opportunity to mend, repair and move on.
If you live in Southwest Louisiana, then you know that with each passing month, the landscape of our area is changing. Whether your normal routes of travel are changing or construction is now a part of your daily commute, this is only the precursor for what is to come and it’s a good thing.
In the last “Lake City Beat” many of the local spots that are new to the Lake City were highlighted. The Facebook page “Developing Lake Charles” is a great place to go if you want to check out new businesses coming to the area. I still prefer the element of surprise the majority of the time, but a sneak peek definitely does not hurt.
Speaking of sneak peeks, the Lake City should be excited about all of the new options coming our way. One of the largest additions has to be the new Altitude Trampoline Park set to locate at 3009 Gerstner Memorial Drive (formerly Highway 14). While there is a Facebook page, you may visit altitudetrampolinepark.com for an overview and altitudelakecharles.com to subscribe for special perks.
This Fort Worth-based company announced that the space will feature over 15,000 square feet of wall-to-wall, interconnected trampolines. Activities include dodgeball courts, basketball dunking lanes, a kid zone and even a trapeze swing. Those into gymnastics will appreciate the tumble tracks and fans of parkour will enjoy the main court, which includes built-in obstacles. The complex is expected to open in early 2016.
I am grateful to come across many of the non-profit organizations here. This time, I would like to highlight Jazz in the Arts. The organization is dedicated to providing community-based musical entertainment for the purpose of promoting and developing jazz music in the area. Chester Daigle II, his wife Patricia and their son Jairus go above and beyond to ensure that jazz lives on throughout our community. From the many special events and the many young people they educate, to the scholarship opportunities made available through their organization, the history and legacy of jazz continues thanks to their efforts and dedication. Visit www.jazzinthearts.com to find out more and how you can support them.
What do you want to see happen in 2016? My friend Alyssa filled me in on a group exercise that she and some awesome women in our community embarked on and she encouraged me to do the same. Write down your intentions for the new year. They are not necessarily goals because they are small tasks that can be done within the next few weeks. I challenge you to also create a list of intentions, and may I suggest it involve local. Only you know what that includes, but try it on for size before we get to 2016. And thanks to everyone in our community who has a positive outlook and supports local. We are growing in a very special way and the more we support our neighbors, the greater we all will be.
As 2015 wraps, I would like to say a special thank you to The Jambalaya News team and especially to the editor Lauren Abate for allowing me to be a part of their team. I would also like to say thank you to 88.3 KBYS and kbys.fm, which is another great platform that gives me an additional opportunity to share how great our community is while encouraging others to truly plug in and become a part of it. Next year will officially mark three years since I began my Hey Bray J venture, and will also mark the third year of our MÁS (Music Artist Showcase) Series. Thank you to each performer who participated.
Look out Louisiana, more opportunities are on the horizon. To my fellow locals who are striving to do better each and every day, always remember to make it a great one, Southwest Louisiana!