I appreciate the weather in its many forms in Southwest Louisiana. It’s like multiple versions of a story being told about our lives, but in different climates. As I write this on a beautifully crisp Sunday afternoon, I cannot help but wonder what next week will be like. Moments like this give me a far better appreciation for being in the moment and making each minute count. Did I stay indoors and miss out on the one beautiful day we had this week or did I round up friends and create a ball day or picnic in the park? That’s how I find myself thinking lately.
Our area continues to grow. We are probably the closest we have ever been to having a dog park in the downtown area. An indoor trampoline space is coming, which is something that many major cities covet. I wonder if this is exactly what we really want here, or if we are we just excited to have something new.
Cirque du Soleil, an internationally recognized entertainment company selected the Lake Charles Civic Center as its base for establishing its next tour, which will be a first of its kind for them. Other innovative companies are either slowly moving into the area or seriously considering expanding here.
I usually outline all of the new companies coming into the Lake Area and share any surprises that haven’t necessarily gotten out to the mass public yet, but what has become more important to me is what I often ask myself: “How appreciative am I to be alive during all of this newness occurring right in front of my eyes?”
In conversations, I find myself referring to our area as a “trend region.” A new restaurant or store opens up and we go–but for how long? Do we have any interest in actually becoming a loyal consumer? Why should businesses go through the trouble of planning and pushing out money for marketing if they won’t be here longer than a year? It’s not because the market wasn’t right, but rather, because we have become a trend city. We simply move on to the next cool new thing that catches our attention and we can’t make enough room in our schedule to accommodate every business we say we love. We really need to show our support and loyalty and keep frequenting these places—otherwise, they won’t be around for long.
There was a time when I enjoyed knowing every new entity that was coming to the area long before it happened. Now, I find myself loving the surprise when the sign goes up. Aside from the major chain stores that we see when we’re on vacation, what are some places you would like to see here? To me, the benefit of living in a city like Houston or even one of its suburbs is that they are literally building everything you need moments from where you live, which creates an ideal living situation. Due to the size of our city, will that ever happen? Or will we always have to travel across town to get to some of the places we love? When someone says “Oh, I never go to that part of town,” it really surprises me. Lake Charles is already so small to begin with that I can’t imagine limiting your life to a five-mile radius.
Just as I often wish I could be with radio listeners to hear what they hear and see how they respond to what I put on the air, I wish that I could ride around with random people just to see what they noticed during their commute or how they get to their destination.
Thinking of my friend Joe Cironi, this would be my version of “Random Thoughts While Shaving” if I had such a show. If you have random questions or thoughts and don’t mind sharing them, please send them my way. It may cause me to do a follow up in one of my upcoming columns. My email is email@example.com.