Keel Hunt, Nashville reporter of a certain age, writes about the Christmas bombing of Nashville’s “Market Street.” It’s long, but worth the read. First and Second Avenues have always been the work of many hands. This zone was Nashville’s first distribution center. In some of these buildings there are still signs of the mule-drawn carts that unloaded goods from steamboats on the Cumberland. In fact, several of the buildings with Victorian-era fronts on Second still have river frontage onto First Avenue for just this purpose, just down the hill from Fort Nashborough. … And on Christmas morning, in a single senseless act, this section of our city that’s on the National Register of Historic Places was shattered, scorched, or some of it outright ruined. We need to build it back. … Around this hybrid planning table, we won’t need the designers of more steel-and-glass boxes, thank you, but people who appreciate where Nashville came from and thus how to make “Market Street” live again. Good ideas can come from anywhere.
Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal, speaks of the awfulness of 2020: Walk any city or town now, and there’s an unforgivingly targeted nature to this catastrophe. It’s not only “job loss” or even dream loss; small businesses are the beating heart of everything. Salons, restaurants, shoe stores—they’re where people go and gather. They keep the streets alive. They need support.