Most of us know at least one person that has purchased or inherited some amazing old house, decided that he (or she) could restore it back to it’s glory days, found out that it was going to be far more complicated than first expected and when life got in the way the house began to really crumble. This is the perfect analogy for so many Arkansas towns.
Springdale Arkansas felt like it might be headed in that direction for a long minute. The strongest illustration, perhaps, being the downtown area. The streets were in need of repairs, the buildings were quickly becoming dated and eventually empty and there was very little pull for any tourism at all.
But then, like little seeds being planted outsiders started to hear about things happening in downtown Springdale. Free outdoor movies, breweries opening, street events and open air markets. Then, all of the sudden, it’s like Brooklyn to New Yorker’s they said they’d never go there but now they feel like they HAVE to! Well, we went… and it was amazing.
In 1985 Fayetteville Arkansas had a population of around 37,000. Most roads west of I-540 were dirt (I-540 is now I-49). There were a couple of Walmarts that didn’t even have groceries back then and going Rogers or Bentonville was like going to the far side of the universe (not to mention there really wasn’t much of a reason to).
Northwest Arkansas is basically a greater metropolitan area that includes Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and the surrounding areas. People commute daily to and from for work, shopping, appointments and leisure. We are showing up on national lists as the best places to live, work and start a business.
With all of this moving and grooving going on I want to share my townie experience. It’s easy to get lost in the throng of all of the shiny new corporate facades (irony of photo not lost here), so I want to chronicle my day to day and then some. I want to share with anyone who would care to listen what it is that makes this place pretty great from the grass roots all the way up to some of the *shiny*.
There will be more to come so please like and share. Feel free to let me know what you’re NWA is too by dropping a line.