Unfiltered Commentary: A walk down Main Street to remember
Kirk Smith/THE REVIEW
ASSISTANT MOSAIC EDITOR
There are many reasons why Main Street will leave a lasting imprint on my heart. Its length ranges a 10 minute walk if you start near Newark Deli and Bagels and end at Santa Fe, but there’s so much within those few blocks that you’ll take with you as you leave.
Think back to the first time you stepped on its red brick and concrete paths. It all seemed so vibrant. Now, you remember it in seasons.
In the end of August it welcomes you home with beaming faces. In September it settles — its venues seat happy bodies outside with iced teas and margaritas. In October, crisp nights introduce bright lighting and warmer sweaters. In November, the trees bare themselves and pumpkins sit smiling, filled with candlelight glow. In December, those bright lights take the form of snowflakes high above.
In January, the first snowflake falls, and you look toward the sky. In February, you run down Main, cupping your face to blow hot air into mittens. In March, Irish pride laughs down the block and beer pitchers make their way into loose hands. In April, the flowers bloom — bright pink — and we remember those August days. In May, we long for just a little bit longer.
I think of Main in its coldest weather, its warmest, its snowiest, its hottest, its rainiest. I think of Main dressed in flowers and people, or naked, shivering under darker, blue skies.
I measure its happiness in the amount of friendly faces — and the amount of smiling strangers caught up in social interaction. I measure the day in its liveliness — how in the bright light, people gather all over its crevices.
I measure its heartbeat with the amount of guitars and voices belting song lyrics, and the amount of times I’ve ordered gooey-goodness from cart men with hidden faces.
Its happiness correlates with mine, as it does everyone’s, I would like to assume. When it’s happy, I’m happy. When it’s gloomy, I feel kind of gloomy myself.
It’s the constant that binds our university community together. It’s an escape from campus without being an escape.
It’s also the constant that is ever changing. No longer are T’Licious’ chicken parm sandwiches ready for order. We’ve said goodbye to Mizu Sushi and SAS Cupcakes. There will be no further Kildare’s karaoke nights, Mojo Wednesdays or Main Street Sliders late-night munchies. These establishments have long since closed their doors since I first stepped onto Main freshman year, opening the chance for newcomers. Newark Natural Foods store has come along with its Café 67’s smoothie, salad counter and ready-to-go fresh foods. Jimmy John’s has come along with its ready in 30-second sandwiches.
Main Street acts as an idea. It’s the idea that there are other streets, like this one, that you could one day come to know and love like you do now, this one long block. It’s the motions of watching sneaker, boot, heel, wedge, rain boot, sandal hit the pavement as the months follow you around.
It’s the drive back to school, pulling onto Main Street — it’s that everlasting feeling that I’ll take with me as I drive out of here one last time this May.