After an amazing summer weekend in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Iâ€™m thinking that the person who coined the slogan â€œDreary Erie, the mistake on the lakeâ€ should be certified.
Even with rain, this extended weekend my family is totally embracing some of the excellent resources available to us in this neck of the woods. We spent a couple days camping at Cook Forest State Park, headed to a family graduation party that was really fun, and now have some sun and fun at Waldameer to look forward to before I go back to work. I wanted to attend the Rust Belt Bloggers summit, but it was just too good of a weekend for a getaway.
You donâ€™t need me to give you a laundry list of the wonderful attributes that our region has to offer. But I do want to encourage you to do two things:
First, you need to get your â€œhugging handsâ€ out and do the Erie, PA embrace. I have to admit that even after living here 41 of my 46 years (I was one of those brain drainers who got out in my 20â€™s, then came back when the kids started coming), there are many cool things in Erie that I havenâ€™t experienced, like wine tasting in North East, the Firefighter’s museum, an art gallery opening, and Iâ€™m ashamed to say, itâ€™s been a really long time since Iâ€™ve been to a Playhouse show. It just takes a little creativity and investment of time and sometimes money, and you can experience so much more of the quality of life that you might feel like you are missing. The Erie Times News does a great job of keeping us informed of all of things that are going on from parish festivals to band concerts. You might just find some weird, awesome, random event that totally exemplifies our town.
The other thing you, and I, need to do is not take our town for granted, because so many of the organizations and entities that create cool things in Erie are hanging on by a thread. You see, with very little growth in population and buying power of our fellow residents, and with the rising cost of everything, the organizations that are Erieâ€™s backbone are getting squeezed. Instantly what comes to mind are the Marx Toy Museum and the Joel 2 ministry to the poor. There are just two examples of Erie assets that needed our help and either we didnâ€™t know it or werenâ€™t quick enough to help.
I love the idea that people from Pittsburgh and Youngstown come to our town to vacation. Think about the money they are willing to spend here, and how they embrace the Erie experience! Nothing dreary about that.