It seems like yesterday that we closed the door on our moving truck and started the 7 hour drive to Medina from Alexandria, VA. We moved home for many reasons, and once we got back we immediately started sharing stories. We flooded Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Youtube with our love for the community.
Let me back up: I moved to Virginia for politics. I was active on political campaigns and that’s what took me down in 2007. From there I worked as a Chief of Staff to a local government official in one of the largest counties in the United States. While I hate negativity, I don’t take things too personally and can usually let things go. My career in politics taught me this, and I’m OK disagreeing with people. There are, however, a few things that are off-limits. One of those things are negative remarks about our hometown. You can be dissatisfied with a decision, approach, event, or even business, but the condemnation of an entire area doesn’t sit well with me.
One short month after moving home we received this comment to a post on Twitter, “Medina is just lipstick on a pig.” My initial reaction was to have Alix hold me back as I rushed to my keyboard. Instead, we both stepped back. While the end of our conversation was to simply leave things at a disagreement, I still couldn’t believe the remark: “Lipstick on a pig.”
When I left Medina, the stories I would often hear were about the Village’s past. The shopping, the nightlife, and the amount of things offered on Main Street. But when I left, I left behind a quiet community that was cold and dark for several months of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it still, but bragging about it was occasionally difficult. For a decade, I kept my ear to the ground. Storefront improvements, buildings being purchased, diversity of businesses, and more events that were drawing hundreds to the downtown community. Medina was still a quiet community, if you chose to keep your ears plugged.
When we moved home we knew exactly what we were getting into. While the area is slower than Washington, DC, that’s not a hit against it. Medina has also become one of the most talked about small downtown communities, much as we often hear about East Aurora and others. “Lipstick on a pig”?? Hardly.
Medina is moving in the right direction because there is a focus on its past while building the future. This isn’t coming through big box developments and chain stores, but rather through the influx of investment in small businesses, with several more in development right now. Businesses like Takeform, PridePak, and others are employment hubs outside of the downtown area, but are perfectly positioned because they don’t compete with small businesses. Rather, they complement and support them. It’s this sort of environment that can continue over the next decade to help Medina prosper.
After living in a downtown area that regularly is named one of the best in America, I look at Medina as a sleeping giant, with one eye already open…