I LOVE Kingston! I visit it at least twice a year, counting down the days as my holidays approach, and singing its praises when I return home.
I must admit that part of the attraction is "James", who is the smartest, handsomest five year old I know. James is also my grandson. Still, James gets tired of hanging with Grandma, and soon leaves me to return to his five year old things. When that time comes, it is time for me to "GO DOWNTOWN". I will share some of my very favourite places and sights with you as we go on, but I want to start with "the big picture."
Downtown Kingston amazes me!!
I have lived in a small city, world famous for its art community and theatre. I then spent many years in a university city quite a bit larger than Kingston. I now call a small fishing village on Lake Erie "home". Each place has provided appeal, and I now know that proximity to a lake or ocean is a must for me. I thought no place could ever please me more than the little village I now live in. Then I visited Kingston for the first time.
Kingston has combined the best of all my hometowns, and left them far behind. The market, the lakefront park, the harbour, the craft displays, the ferrys, the cruises, the pubs, the restaurants, the boutiques and the specialty shops are all laid out for all to see and experience - and all of this within easy walking distance. Best of all - the people...LOTS of people, enjoying the scene as much as me, bustling and laughing, shopping and taking in the sights.
The downtown area in my old city has become careworn and tired-looking. People have abandoned it as a destination - preferring to frequent malls and shopping centres. So many stores are boarded up, and few adults venture downtown after dark.
Somehow Kingston seems to have avoided this fate, and I pray it continues to do so. Kingston downtown is not just a place, it is a feeling- alive, busy, fun, exciting and vibrant. I admit shopping centres have a place in our society, but, Dear Kingston, don't allow them to take anything away from your beautiful core area. I am again counting down the days until I return.