I do not remember in vivid detail my first trip into the downtown area of Greenville; however, standing under 4 feet, like most children, I imagine that it would appear as large an New York City would to an adult. The tops of buildings looked as though they were smokers puffing clouds and the pavements were well worn with footprints of both residents and foreigners. “Downtown,” as residents refer to it, was the hub of socialization and served as a place to escape the suburbia and countryside that make up much of Greenville and, to a child, all of this is new and fresh. Each store is a new area to explore and discover. By the end of the day, I would feel like Indiana Jones showing off my treasures from my adventures.
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Downtown in present day greatly resembles the Downtown from my childhood. I can walk by Handi Indian Cuisine, the restaurant that seems to never have any customers, but still continues to stay in business. I can brush past the camping equipment and various outdoor clothes to make my way back of The Mast General Store, where a pound of candy, from both today and yesterday, will only cost 7 dollars. I can relive childhood memories in O.P. Taylor’s, where the toys I played with when I first visited Downtown are stacked on low shelves so that they are easily reached by children’s hands. The Greenville Drive still plays at Fluor Field and High Cotton still offers the most expensive dinner in town. However, the buildings appear to have shrunk and the Reedy River is now accompanied by a suspension bridge and it doesn’t resemble the Mississippi anymore. I have come to realize that these subtle changes are due to the change of my perspective. Each new year brings new experiences and my view of Downtown changes rather than Downtown itself. Although perspective ages with the individual, Downtown remains to be the place to escape the mundane. Despite becoming familiar, each trip holds the new and exciting. With my personal life changing as I embrace moving out of my mother’s house and surrounding myself in a college environment, I always have a place to return to that is both enjoyable and exciting. I know that, just as I age, the Downtown area will age as well and my perspectives will continue to shift, but I recognize that it is ok. Greenville and I have big plans to grow and prosper well beyond expectation.
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