Week 10 – Ada Villages

In the second half of the week, my cold from the past couple of weeks seemed to come and go, flirting with me in a macabre way. It’s been a bit surreal, flu and cold hassling me in the past couple of weeks, coronavirus (or covid-19) everywhere on the news, and teaching about the history of disease epidemics in my environmental history course.

As a counterpoint, the weather has been beautiful in the last few days, unseasonably sunny and warm. I worry that farmers will pay if fruit trees and the like start to flower too early and then get whacked by more cold weather. But worries aside, I’ll take it.

Sunday Sunrise small

This weekend I took a walk in Ada Village, near where I live. I keep driving by all of the new buildings–condos, shops, restaurants, and other small businesses–in the “new village. There’s even a website that promises all sorts of great progress. The website also hints at some frustration from long time residents of “old Ada”–or would that just be Ada Village? I do worry, or at least wonder, whether the “new village” will take or end up as a “Potemkin Village” of sorts. And I wonder if some older residents will get priced out by gentrification, or at least feel less at home.

In any case.  Here are a few images, first of “new village” Ada.

There’s a lot more parking than in the old village. And the shops feel like they are a 21st-century take on urban neighborhood architecture. They don’t seem (to my eye) to fit with the early-to-mid-20th feel of the houses and businesses of old Ada. I wondered what a contemporary take on old Ada would look like.

Here’s a few of the old village.

Old Ada Village has a humble feel. A very practical hardware story. An ice cream shop that closes for the winter. A traditional barbershop. (No stylists. Barbers please.) The bike shop perhaps is the closest continuity, with its high tech gear. But it seems to fit the sensibility of the old village in a way. That’s probably because bikers bike. But people often wear exercise and backcountry clothing as fashion statements. No one’s going to do that with padded bike shorts that make you look like you’re sporting a diaper or the functional but ridiculous looking shoes and helmets bikers sport.

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