At Autoliterate we yearn for the downtown experience. 'Downtown' these days---does that word have any suggestive zing, other than in NYC, where it implies the varied regions below 14th Street? Hell, Burlington VT used to have a lively mixed-up downtown, most of it along Church Street. Montreal had a hell of a downtown along rue Ste-Catherine. Portland, Maine's downtown was Congress Street. Thousands of towns from Nova Scotia to California once had lively downtowns; most are decrepit now. Partly due to changing technology, partly due to some terrible planning decisions-or more often, lack of planning decisions. We need to reinvigorate these districts somehow. Not just turn them into dubious "arts districts" or tourist zones. Helena Montana had a downtown in the Fifties. Thanks to Larry Nordell for passing along the photo.
- Brooklin, Maine, United States
- We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.