Nothing to do in Norwich? I think not.

Brian Golden

What with the renovations to East and West Parks, the new Byrne Dairy, the nearly completed clean-up behind Front Street adjacent to the Tops parking lot and the complete overhaul of 24 East Main Street, downtown Norwich is getting quite the face-lift this summer.

I, for one, am super excited for these changes, and not only because it gives me something to write about for our hometown daily. Actually, my excitement stems more from the pride that I feel for this city of ours.

I spent quite a bit of time visiting City Hall this week – chasing down stories on the proposed renovations to the Commission House, located on the corner of Mitchell and State Streets, and the BID’s long-awaited Parks Project – and I had several opportunities to chat with various city officials on the numerous goings-on. They’re as excited as I am, I can tell you that, and for good reason.

There’s a common misconception in Norwich, one shared by far too many people, that there’s nothing to do here. I hear it all the time and all I can do is shake my head and wonder to myself just what these people are talking about. Granted, we may be small compared to cities like Binghamton, Syracuse, Ithaca or even Cortland, but that doesn’t make our small-city way of life tedious or commonplace. In my experience, it’s anything but.

What with the Blues Fest, Colorscape, the Chenango County Fair, Gus Macker, the Antique Car Show and the 4th of July to look forward to, I don’t see how anyone can complain. I know I’m not. On top of all that, we have an extremely talented local music scene, a movie theater that’s under new management (and offering Wii and X-Box on the big screen, how cool is that) and dozens of other entertainments to keep us occupied throughout the summer months.

About the only bad thing I can think of is the closure of Kurt Beyer Pool this year, but I’m sure it will be up-and-running in 2012.

Like most, my budget simply can’t support any kind of big, fancy vacation this summer, and that’s fine with me. I’m looking forward to our city’s numerous annual events – which I have the pleasure of covering for The Evening Sun – camping (and fishing) over at Bowman Lake, barbecuing with friends and jamming with my various bands. In all honesty, there’s rarely enough time in the day for me to do all the fun stuff I can think of. So before those of you who’d rather complain about the lack of excitement here in Norwich start, take a minute to look around and realize that there’s plenty to do here.

All I know is that it’s almost summer and I’m more than ready for some sunshine and some fun, which I know I’ll be able to find right here – at home.