Monday, February 19, 2007

edenton

One toe of one sock is all I got knitted over the weekend. Somehow I thought that I'd be sitting & knitting all through the weekend meeting I had to go to, but I was so, so wrong. This was a very active meeting.

chowan view
view of edenton's waterfront on the chowan river

We met in Edenton, a beautiful little town in North Carolina's northeast corner, the seat of NC's first colonial capitol. Edenton is also the site of the first known women's political organizing in the colonies, called the Edenton Tea Party, back in 1774. On the one hand, I am proud of the colonial women for organizing against the monarchy, but on the other hand did they have to boycott tea of all things? All the colonial boycotting of British tea was so influential that we here in America still can't get a decent cuppa today.

Edenton has a lot going for it, but perhaps the most amazing thing about this rural small town is how well the progressive local government has fought off sprawl development. Edenton is part of North Carolina's Inner Banks, the sound-side of our coastline coming under intense development pressure now that the Outer Banks are completely and hideously engulfed in pavement and luxury beach houses. Ick. I can't say ick strongly enough. Ick!

Outer Banks development has run off the historic population by driving property values through the roof, particularly in the "quaint" fishing villages where commercial fishermen and -women used to live. Inner Banks development is already beginning to drive farmers off their land, and the water demands have put such pressure on coastal aquifers that salt water is invading them, as well as the land that used to be suitable for farming.

Edenton is holding off that tide of development with strong local ordinances that have kept big-box stores and gated communities out, and maintained a thriving downtown with stores where local folks can actually buy groceries, clothing, even a new stove. How many rural downtowns can say that - if they are alive at all? The really amazing thing is, this is a town of only about 5,000 residents. These folks have fought Wal-Mart, big developers, even the state legislature, and won. They must know something about organizing there. I think the Tea Party must have been a good training ground.

In other news, I got a pretty new book over the weekend:



It's so dreamy, I have to keep mopping up the little puddle of drool (I hope it doesn't warp the pages). I can't say these are the most wearable designs I've ever seen, but they are quite moving.

3 comments:

  1. looks lovely...
    i want to
    visit there!
    i haven't seen
    that new knitting book.
    looks like
    i need to buy it!
    maybe i should
    come and
    peruse yours
    first
    over tea of course.

    ReplyDelete
  2. edenton sounds amazing. it is so rare and wonderful to see that kind of community, organized resistance to the mass-market stuff... and natural beauty as well? so nice.
    ohhh, i've been looking at that book for awhile... isn't it stunning? every time i flip through it i am so excited by these shapes and forms. but i haven't had the courage to knit something from it... yet...

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  3. what do you do for your job? I am just getting into local envirovmental groups, covering for the paper I work at. The rural midwest is having the same delimas. That knitting book has been calling me for months! Is there more than just pretty pictures?

    ReplyDelete