Six years ago, almost to the day, I sent off my first post on Nicki's Central West End Guide and wondered if anyone would find it, or what I would write about next. Without encouragement and much-needed technical help from my dear friend and former CWEnder Charlotte Lyons, this guide to what's happening in the neighborhood might never have gotten off the ground.
After that first post on October 28, 2009 (photo above, link here), I wondered if I'd be searching high and low for new content. I needn't have worried. Due to a combination of curiosity about people and new and established businesses, your suggestions, and what I discovered through the lens of the camera, I found that there's plenty of material, probably enough to keep the blog going forever. However, after much soul searching, I have concluded the time has come to turn the page and start a new chapter in my life.
I love the countless connections and many new friendships that have been made because of the blog, Including one couple who profess they discovered and actually moved to the CWE as a result. Another friend wrote upon discovering Nicki's Central West End Guide while on a work assignment in New York: "...it made me feel so proud of my neighborhood."
At an author event at Left Bank Books last spring I reconnected with journalist and author Carla Power, whose family lived in the neighborhood when she was a teenager. Power has written an excellent book, If The Oceans Were Ink, An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran, in which she explains that her interest in the Middle East began while traveling there during summer vacations with her parents, Richard and Helen Power, and her brother Nick. She weaves memories of her life on Lenox Place, surrounded by Oriental rugs and other treasures brought back from those trips, into her later journey getting to know the real meaning of the Quran. Carla now resides with her young family outside London.
What the author inscribed in the book, below, sums up how I feel about the neighborhood:
For those who may rely on this blog for the listing of what's happening in the neighborhood, a good option is to join the Central West End Association. Sometime this past summer Operations Coordinator Amanda Dever began sending members a comprehensive calendar of events each week. There are other reasons to support the organization, including the fact that Amanda fields calls all the time from people outside the area looking for information about the neighborhood, and the CWEA's all-volunteer Planning & Development Committee, which keeps watch over new construction and renovations to ensure that these projects adhere to the Central West End's Historic District Standards. I can't imagine what the neighborhood would look like without that committee's input over the years. Membership in the CWEA is $25 yearly - the equivalent of 5 lattes! Join here.
I'll continue to host the blog site for a while, and thereafter a Google search will lead you to posts I've written over the years. Perhaps we'll keep up on Facebook, Instagram or, better yet, out in the neighborhood.
With love and thanks,