I have blogged before on paradigms and how they cause us to be too narrow in our focus in solving problems. For how this is a problem click on the link in the previous sentence. Simply put paradigms are the blinders we put on that cause us to miss new opportunities to improve how we do something. Many times we only take our blinders off when something stops working as it has in the past or we experience failure when in the past we were successful. If we take too long in taking off or blinders failure is repeated. Think Kodak's slow response to digital photograph or Borders Books not developing an online store fast enough.
So getting back to Ellicott City what is the paradigm? In my opinion it is that retail stores are what gives Main Street its vitality and viability. Are there other possible options for Main Street that may create a new vitality for the area that better reflect the fact that the area is vulnerable to flooding. I think there are these options.
One option I would like to propose is an Ellicott City Festival and Recreational Park.
Think of it as an Ellicott City version of Symphony Woods with its unique Ellicott City historical twist.
Ellicott City hosts many holiday events that could use this type of park at a focal site.
Using an historical theme think of a December colonial holiday celebration using some of what Williamsburg does in December.
Even more some of the type of summer events that CA hosts at the Kittamaqundi Lakefront could be hosted in a park in downtown Ellicott City but with an historical twist.
I am reminded of the old expression of "turning lemons into lemon aide." The lemons in this case is the flooding potential of the streams flowing into the Patapsco River and the lemon aide is an Ellicott City Festival and Recreational Park that would never have been considered until the recent flood.