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The Importance of Neighborhood

September 7, 2012 by Christopher Newgent

It’s 34 steps to my favorite bike shop, 57 steps to the neighborhood branch of the public library, 156 steps to the best chocolate malt in town, 131 steps to the best General Tso’s, 47 steps to IMOCA. This is Fountain Square, perhaps my favorite neighborhood in town, and where I now work as a Pivoteer.

It’s a rather dramatic shift. My previous job was in a non-descript office building at the edge of 465. The view from my office window was a parking lot and the interstate. Here is the view from Pivot’s window:

One of the reasons I was drawn to Pivot was how obvious it is that they care about place, about being a part of where they are. They host a First Friday event every other month at the office and feature local artists; they source the vast majority of their office needs from local shops; even the huge storefront window serves as testament to me that they want to invite their neighborhood into what they're doing.

Just poke around on this blog and you’ll find posts highlighting their neighbors here in Fountain Square, highlighting work they’ve done for local non-profits and small businesses. Pivot believes what I believe: an organization can only be as successful as its community.

And so I’m here. And I love it.

Every morning, Fountain Square greets me on my ride to work with more progress on the Cultural Trail, and the “You Are Beautiful” sign looming large against the sunrise. I can stand in our lobby and see my good friends in the neighborhood out walking their dogs or eating on the La Margarita patio. There is a pulse here, a rhythm you find and fall into and feel a part of.

I have to admit, it almost feels like cheating, to be a creative working in Fountain Square. At any given time I can step outside and see beautiful hand-painted, vintage signage or across the street to check out the latest IMOCA installation or down an alley to see some incredible street art. This is why the Masterpiece in a Day contest, part of the neighborhood's Art Squared celebration, can work here and be so successful. Inspiration is just a few steps away, always.

I’m thankful for my previous job, for the people there and the experience it gave me to bring to my writing and my work at Pivot. But every morning, I wake up now thankful to point my handlebars towards Fountain Square, thankful to be a part of a company that strives to be a part of its community. I needed a neighborhood. 

 

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