Well somehow that little message has grown from my email into a line of buttons with the slogan "it's good in the hood", and we've almost given out two runs worth of these buttons. As far as I'm concerned, these buttons were at the top of the must-have list for Christmas 2010. And do you know why?
It's because it's true.
But you have to be IN Riversdale or Caswell Hill to understand what's good in the hood. You can't see it from the view of your car window when you drive down 20th Street, and it's certainly not apparent if you believe the 1990's Barry/Albany era is still alive and kicking.
What's good about the hood is simply this: it's in the people. And there's lots of new people. Call them creatives, hipsters, young professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, yogi's, cyclists, musicians, or whatever you like, but they're all bound by a single common desire that has brought them to these core neighborhoods: they want high quality urban lifestyles and they're not willing to take out a 35 year mortgage to get it.
These new residents and business owners have filled the community associations, the business improvement districts and are taking over the vacant storefronts to create an amazing amount of ideas, innovation and energy that is pushing these neighborhoods in a very clear direction: to becoming the city's most affordable option for urban lifestyles.
Don't believe me? Try visiting Garden Architecture, the Farmer's Market on Saturdays, Hot Yoga on 20th, Escape Sports, Park Cafe, Cava Wines or AKA Gallery and you'll see what I'm talking about. These are some of the most innovative new stores in Saskatoon and they're all in Riversdale. And there's more to come in The Two Twenty (former Joe's Cycle) when Collective Coffee and the Coworking Hub open at the end of this month. Its another act of urban renewal that's ushering Riversdale into the next era.
Until then, feel free to stop by my office (beside the Two Twenty) to pick up your free button.
And remember....it's good in the hood.