Postcards from Main Street

If the New York Times last week was any indication, there’s a growing big-city awareness of the special value of small-town places.

  • First, Roberta Smith’s review of a current exhibition of postcard images of small towns at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“Main Street Postcards as Muse,” Feb. 5) uses late photographer Walker Evan’s collection of early Twentieth Century postcards to uncover the inspiration of his work, but it also uses this art form as a reflection of our national capacity to create and capture ourselves in our surroundings.
  • In Hernando, Mississippi, residents are fighting to keep a postcard-worthy feature of their landscape (“Seeking a Tribute to the Ordinary in a Water Tower,” Feb 5). To outsiders, it might not look like anything special, but some of the town’s 15,000 residents are seeking state landmark status for their water tower, and their efforts were enough to capture national attention.

Every community has its own important reference points in the landscape. They might be an iconic symbol that first comes to mind, or they might be something more surprising once you dig a little deeper. These points and structures help connect residents to each other and to their place, and they are worthy of preserving.

Some even present enough of a community’s story to put on a postcard, enough to say, “Wish you were here.”


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