It is often said that the little things matter; attention to detail. A casual drive through the city reveals numerous examples of this axiom.
Take, for example, the buildings comprising a small business called St. Joseph Avenue Antiques. Year after year the owners take time to apply a fresh coat of varnish to the numerous solid wood doors providing ingress to the storefronts. Its small thing, but a laborious task and essential to preserving the integrity of those beautiful doors, which bear the brunt of scorching sunlight day after day.
A little further north on Saint Joe avenue is a modest private residence on the 3500 block. It’s the last of a string of small homes just before reaching the Krug Park Swimming Pool. There always seems to be a new improvement made to this particular home – flowers each spring, a garden shed, play apparatus for the youngsters – and everything is well maintained and cared for. The place evokes pride of ownership.
Driving along Francis Street downtown one notices Frank Lammoglia’s 1785 Cuban Restaurant, with new paint highlighting architectural elements on the front façade. The new awning is a nice little detail, with important information like the business phone number and website included for the visitor unfamiliar with the restaurant’s fare.
It’s been a few years since Olin Cox fabricated and installed a new copper dome above the oriel window on his Ryan Block Building on the 1100 block of Frederick Avenue. Cox’ attention to detail continues with the addition of planter boxes this spring in the adjacent parking lot.
Muhammad Khan recently opened MZK Olive Street Market at 24th and Olive Streets, bringing new life to the old neighborhood post office building, which had been shuttered for years. The grocer provides all the basics and a great selection of fresh produce in a super clean, tidy and friendly atmosphere. One must appreciate such a commitment to the neighborhood – long without a true grocery store, as well as the reasonable prices.
The grounds at Stanley Herzog’s headquarters on South Riverside Road are as pastoral and serene as a Baptist seminary college. The campus is evocative of the work the company does – void of chaos and clutter; mindful of purpose. Drive through a Herzog overlay project on I-29 sometime. How does one know it’s a Herzog project? Planning, attention to detail, lack of clutter, meticulously-orchestrated for the safety of the work crew and drivers alike; and when the work is done, the road surface is pristine.
East Hills Cleaners is under new ownership. Tonya McCrea has transformed the business in numerous little ways, including fresh and bright branding graphics, a vibrant, engaging front-of-the-house remodeling, and free pick-up and delivery service. Plus, Tonya accepts debit and credit cards – including American Express and she sends her clients a reminder via text message that the laundry is ready!
Pryor Avenue, a little two-block stretch of divided boulevard surrounded by private homes and anchored by the Rupp Funeral Home is one of the overlooked little gems in town. It is a pleasure to get out of the car and walk past the well-kept houses surrounded by mature trees and a group of neighbors that clearly care about where they live.
What makes the city worth while? The little things, bigger things, vision, purpose, commitment, idealism. It begins with each of us, every business and all our organizations – and attention to detail.