Didn’t look like top 10 dying cities last night.

Urban Nights was hopping. People everywhere. Restaurants with waits, bars full, street vendors selling, street musicians playing, people having a good time.

Amazingly, some downtown businesses didn’t get it- and were closed. Sterling Studio in the Oregon District, the new optician on E. Third with $10 frames, and a few others had their doors locked.

Parking was painful, which was good- because it made people walk. At 7:30, 4 floors of the Transportation center garage were full. The Big Lens film festival was oversold. It was an amazing night.

Now, the question is, why can’t we do this weekly? Or at least monthly? We have the arts, the bands, the people and I’m sure economically it was a boost for downtown businesses and the local economy.

At 10 p.m., it was almost impossible to drive down Fifth Street in the Oregon District. It’s time to start considering shutting it down to cars on weekend nights, and throwing open every possible door and parking lot within the district for markets and open-air vendors.

We may not have jobs, or a lot of disposable income right now, but, we can still throw a party if we try a little harder.

A few things that I thought were really cool:

Garden Station, an all volunteer effort- has taken a vacant lot that was a homeless hotel, and turned it into an urban oasis with very little money. Creativity and open minds can create something from nothing.

The LiteHouse: For $149K (and maybe $139K if an incentive still comes through) you could live in an awesome, new, low maintenance, high efficiency home that would cost less than $700 a month. Innovative uses of green technology, new building materials and good design and an indoor manufacturing process make these incredible homes possible.

The Sideshow: Art isn’t always pretty, it’s not always neat and something you hang on a wall. Most of it’s not something I’d like at home, but again, creativity and imagination convert a vacant space into a place. Good job.

All the musicians. Rock on.

Last night, we lived in a big, thriving city. Yeah!

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