zeal \ ËˆzÄ“l \noun
strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something
Upon my return to the office from vacation, with a camera card full of photos from great downtowns in New Hampshire, talk turned to the similarities and differences between what we see and experience in Pennsylvania versus what I recently observed in the Granite State. Although New Hampshire definitely puts its own spin on things, many of the elements of great Pennsylvania communities were evident in the great New Hampshire communities as well.
This prompted a couple questions: 1) Is there anything new under the sun? and 2) Does that matter?
Of all the elements I captured in my photos, my favorite was definitely the Littleton Arts Umbrella project. I thought it was the most unique thing I had seen in a downtown in a long time and I knew I would share it through our blog. However, at the time I didn’t even know the installation had a name or anything about it other than I thought it was really cool. So, I turned to the internet to get some details.
In addition to learning the name of the project, I also learned that “Main Street programs learn to ”˜steal with zeal’ when it comes to great ideas.” [see Little New Hampshire: Focus on the Arts, Main Street Now, Winter 2014 – http://www.golittleton.com/pdf/NMSC_Lttn_2014.pdf]
This particular idea, which I thought was so cool and so unique, was actually taken from Agueda, Portugal. ”¦ Go ahead, do a Google images search. ”¦ It’s worth it. ”¦ I’ll wait. ”¦
So, addressing question 1: was the idea unique or completely new? No. But question 2 asks, does it matter? And I say no! Littleton took a great idea and gave it their own unique spin. They took nothing away from Agueda, Portugal. If anything, they’ve given me a real desire to want to visit that community. And it has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Are there any downtown elements you’ve seen in another town that you’d like to make your own? Go ahead, flatter by imitation and “steal with zeal!”