Giving Huntsville a make-over

Having been in Huntsville for four years, I sometimes wake up screaming, “Anything but Wal-Mart!” and scare myself.

This little town has had the same bars, restaurants and antique stores for 20 or more years and I wonder if it is ever going to change. Will we ever have a decent selection of places to spend our money or will Wal-Mart forever be the only option? I have nothing against the mega-store, but I would like to buy flip-flops, dog food and candles without fighting my way through a parking lot Vietnam-style.

Little rumors of a Target or an Olive Garden coming to town used to make my heart flutter with excitement, but now I am pretty sure it is all lies. Sometimes a new building pops up and I wonder if it is something cool-too bad it usually turns out to be a bank.

I, for one, am tired of driving to Conroe or the Woodlands to buy a cute shirt. Will Huntsvillian lives continue to be filled with routine trips to Wal-Mart in 10 years or is there hope for this sweet little town?

I think there is hope. Currently half of Huntsville’s population is students and, with SHSU growing semi-rapidly, maybe some businesses will realize there is a market here. Here is a thought: How about Huntsville’s residents start spending money in Huntsville? If all 35,000 of us have to drive to other towns to buy stuff, then the other towns are making money and Huntsville is becoming poorer with every afternoon trip down I-45. I bet 76-foot Sam Houston saw this coming.

Here are the top 5 things I think Huntsville needs:

1. A Target is at the top of this list simply because I am sick of Wal-Mart.

2. We need more restaurants. Huntsville currently consists of Chili’s and wide array of Mexican food. I should be able to go on a nice date without driving an hour.

3. A few more bars/clubs would be nice. A roundtrip to the Woodlands to drink is dangerous and Shenanigans has a teen night. Enough said.

4. How about somewhere that sells house decorating supplies, like Pier 1? With 17,000 students in dorms, apartments and houses, I have an inkling a place like that would make money.

5. This list would not be complete unless I mentioned a mall. It does not have to be anything fancy, just some place where I can buy pretty high heels and cute dresses.

I am forced to think that some people like Huntsville just the way it is. I must admit the “small town” feel is mildly comforting, but it is also pretty boring.

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