Suzanne's drawings, her reference to Central Park, her declaration of love of people and reference to the force or energy of ink shot right through my thoughts revolving around the meaning of culture.
It was sort of a big bang. But in the broader realm it was a small “big bang.” For the moment I'm going to call it the Central Park Theory, inspired by Suzanne's images and her insight and interpretations.
I've always thought of Central Park in New York as an expression, our more recent expression of American culture on many levels. But this big bang takes us to the heart of culture.
And we are all products of culture. In America we enter that culture from many gateways, all entrances into this central park. Within our overall national culture are thousands of other cultures.
Here at the local level, we have the broader sphere of culture which is the Milwaukee area itself and its influence. And the village of Shorewood has within its sphere its own culture. New York has Central Park to symbolize its culture.
So what was the big bang this morning? That all communities must have their functioning centers of culture. That's the big bang, my Central Park Theory, thanks to Suzanne. Central Park is not a literal concept, it is a centrality, a place where even a culture as the one we experience here in our village can be expressed.
Shorewood's central park must be a place where we come to “hang out” to either express ourselves or watch others doing so—a London Hyde Park, yet not really a park. . These central points are found all over Europe. Our centrality is not found in the basement of the Library nor on any of the floors of Village Hall. We seem to be missing a centrality.
So from a city planning standpoint, from a village design standpoint, from a village development standpoint, we must develop our own centrality, our own Central Park or parks..
How many more personalities are there in our community, people like Suzanne that can be drawn to our central point and how many are there that can supply similar inspirations for the development of our own village culture?
Let's develop a central place for Shorewood, an all-seasons, an all cultures Central Park.
There's only one Susanne, but how many others like her can we draw to our central place. The little big bang provides the central force and energy, the ingredients for our central place, the idea for both development and the expression of our own village culture.
It is centrality that must be at the heart of all our social and government activity. So now, how do we help it to evolve?