Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Almost Anything Is the New Red

I have advocated seemingly incessantly in this space and elsewhere for something I like to call The Joy of the Small Step.

That is (and Connecticut Tigers fans please forgive me for baseball imagery) as fond as I am of home runs, sometimes depending on the strength of your bats and the distance to the outfield fences, quite often some well-placed singles and infield hits can help you carry the game.

That same sense of incremental exceptionalism should go for where we live, you and me, here in Norwich. As residents of the city, we enjoy an enormous amount of community resources and municipal assets and have similar responsibilities and face shared challenges. Identifying and adapting (or even adopting) solutions to problems can and should cross streets and districts.

That's why it's fun and often instructive to watch and root for a neighborhood, in this case, Greeneville, when they pioneer a fun project that helps reinforce their own sense of community and brings people together for a cause.

The Greeneville Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (Greeneville NRZ) Committee, a mouthful if there ever was one, is sponsoring a fire hydrant painting contest. Applications for selection of artists started a couple of weeks ago, but you still have time, about three weeks (actually, until Thursday, 6 August) to fill out your application and submit it with your fee to get your brush in the paint to nearly coin a phrase.

You still have time to get involved and, as you probably suspected, you don't have to live in Greeneville. But don't dawdle.  Despite what your pooch might tell you, there aren't an unlimited number of fire hydrants in Greeneville (only about 74) and when they're all spoken for, the application window is closed.

All the entry details and rules, to include suggestions on possible design themes and some do's and don'ts are on the city's website, but the visual possibilities in terms of colors, designs and whatever else you think a fire hydrant has, or should have if it doesn't are just about endless.

Before you rush out and get fitted for a matching smock and beret and have your hand-sized for a mixing palette, let me note that while it's a contest, it's not a competition as in "gentlemen (and ladies) start your brushes!" Painting will start on Saturday, September 5, and all brushes must be down by Friday, September 18.

The paint and brushes will be provided by the Greeneville NRZ. And the design you submitted with your application is what you'll be required to paint on the hydrant. If you start to channel Dali or Michelangelo when you grab your brush, there may be some colorful discussions and sad faces when you paint your masterpiece.
-bill kenny

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