What does Salem look like to our neighbors in Eugene?

From the inside, Salem is looking pretty good these days. We are seeing a Farmer's Market and First Wednesday grow in popularity, new and good restaurants are replacing old rundown ones, and the cultural scene is expanding with the opening of new galleries. The general feeling in Salem is that this place is on an upward trajectory. Are these improvements obvious to tourists? Here is a visitor account from a blog in Eugene called Eugene Modern Monkey. The blogger writes "I'm hungry and I'm driving through a place named Salem and all I can see is a Denny's and a McDonald's, what should I do, where can I stop to satiate my burning desire for good and hopefully healthy food?" Fortunately she makes her way downtown and finds La Capitale and says, "If you can't hold over until you land in your foodie retreat of Eugene or Portland there are some points of food salvation to be found in Salem" She also found Off Center Cafe, a place that a lot of Salemites have not found yet. She says "you would do yourself a disservice to not drive yourself over to Off Center Cafe. It's quirky but the breakfast fare is beyond fair."

I'll take this post as a visitor satisfied but we can do better. We have to come up with a way to bring tourist to our downtown without having them experience the sprawl that seems to clutter at our cities gateways. Tunnel?

11 comments:

Will said...

How about a sign on the highway, then on Market that actually points the way downtown, instead of to the Lancaster Mall.

Salem Man said...

That wood sign at I5 and Portland Rd that greats folks coming off the freeway could use a makeover. Call Oprah.

KandN said...

I'd love to see a big beautiful sign by the freeway (both N and S of town)saying, "Explore Salem's downtown, a treat for your senses".
On second thought ... sounded good in the shower. Any other ideas?

tracylee said...

K,
My best ideas always occur in the shower, so I'm sure it'd be great!

KandN said...

Tracy, What is it about the shower? Has anyone done a study on this phenomenon? Inquiring minds think they may want to know ...

Chuck Bradley said...

I know I shouldn't say this, but I’m going to. When I read this original post, I had to laugh out loud. The Off Center Cafe is the classic stereotypical kind of place I would expect a classic stereotypical "Earth Cookie" from Eugene to love! I'm still wiping tears of laughter from my eyes!(Karla, If you bust me on this one, I'll understand.)

KandN said...

Chuck! Speaking as a second string "Earth Cookie" (I like that term by the way), I'll admit that there's some transcendent, fundamental reality to what you say. Although, (and this I remember from my childhood) it takes one to know one. Am I right? :>D

Salem Man said...

Never hold back Chuck. Give it to us straight.

tracylee said...

K (re: the shower),
I've always thought that it's soooo routine that you don't have to think about it, and your mind is still kind of processing dreams and such, but is clear of the daily grind that goes on after.

OK, so that may not make much sense, but I'm not in the shower, LOL!

KandN said...

Tracy, Sounds spot on to me! :>)

Anonymous said...

My singing sounds great in the shower....never translates to public places though.



I overheard a couple folks talking about how much they liked Salem, especially downtown, compared to Eugene - after moving here from Eugene recently.

There is a lot of people in Eugene, but last time I was downtown Eugene we couldn't really find any good (looking) restaurants downtown. Wound up at Sy's Pizza (which I had heard was good) and walked out thinking we have three better pizza places here in Salem.

Hearsay I know. But I like Salem a LOT more. And you don't have to worry about a hippie stealing your bike. Lots of theft in Eugene.

The Off-Center Cafe is a great little place. Food is excellent.