An editorial by Jennifer Sierra
It is a good time to be a Dayton and Bellevue resident. I have seen some incredible changes coming to both cities. There are people that don’t want either city to change but change can be a good thing and the way I see it, the best qualities each city has won’t go away because those are qualities that brought people to each town in the first place. Plenty needs to change though and those changes are the things that give me hope for these towns that have spent too many decades stuck in the same rut.
As I get out and about and walk around more, shaking off the cold weather, I notice the Manhattan Harbour development on the river in Dayton, taking on life and people walking along the flood wall getting excited about it. On one stroll last week I met a nice man from Bellevue, Dr. William Camm. He was riding his bike on the flood wall and introduced himself. He used to live in Cincinnati but discovered this incredible little slice of Americana in Bellevue so he moved to Bellevue, Kentucky. He asked me about the development and then asked me about the Red Bike movement. We spoke about the trouble Bellevue was having drumming up support from the “powers that be”. He came up with an excellent idea. “Why don’t Bellevue and Dayton come together to raise money and purchase a Red Bike station and put the station on the border street of O’Fallon (the street that separates the 2 cities of Dayton and Bellevue)?” Dr. Camm inquired. The best ideas come from a fresh set of eyes for sure. It is this kind of thinking from newcomers that can only improve our cities. I was impressed by such a simple yet effective solution to the Red Bike funding issue. Bellevue is a little over halfway there as far as fundraising for the station. Why not pull the cities together and raise money from both towns?
I went walking the other night to get ice cream at Schneider’s with my family and noticed two kids on bikes stopped in front of a Little Library on 6th Avenue. They were perusing books in the very full library stand. Our school superintendents, Mr. Smith and Mr. Brewer would have been thrilled to see this scene. Thank your community volunteers for bringing Little Libraries to our towns. Thank your teachers and school leaders for encouraging our kids to read this summer.
One thing that shouldn’t change is that no matter how busy and bustling it may be in our towns during the day, at night it is still quiet enough to sleep with your windows open. How many places can you live so close (1-2 miles) from a major metropolitan city like Cincinnati and say that it is so quiet at night, you can still hear the crickets? Where else can you have so many people at a dinner party all come from different walks of life. I have been fortunate to have made so many friends that are also my neighbors and only a short walk from my home.
I went for an early morning walk to visit my friends over at Weller Haus Bed and Breakfast and it was so lovely and quiet on the street. Not another soul was out except a Dayton police officer. It gave me a chance to smell the flowers from the beautifully landscaped yards and notice things I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
There is so much to do here in Dayton and Bellevue this summer without getting into your car and going anywhere! This Saturday there is a block party in Bellevue in the 400 block of Foote from 2 PM – 10 PM. Also on this Saturday is the 2nd Saturday Concert Series at Bellevue Beach Park from 7 PM to 10 PM. You could grab a bite to eat at Buona Vita, Siam Orchid or Elusive Cow. Have dinner on the river at The Reef in the Dayton marina, maybe have breakfast at Avenue Brew or Bellevue Bistro. You don’t even have to get in your car!
Just get out and see what is happening with all of the development around both cities: Manhattan Harbour on the Dayton riverfront and Ashley development’s new homes in Bellevue between Ward and O’Fallon on Furhman. Yes, there is change coming. Not so long ago the towns of Dayton and Bellevue looked worn out from over a 150 years of wear and tear. Now people are moving in and giving old properties a facelift and building new homes where none could be built before. With these changes come fresh people with fresh ideas and passion for the little towns they fell in love with enough to put down roots. Just because someone isn’t “from” Dayton or Bellevue doesn’t mean that they can’t love it as much or more than someone that grew up here.