Margaret Otis Walker is a great name by any standard. Meg (for short) has lived in Hastings for the past sixteen years, and this past March became one of the Village’s Trustees.
A registered architect by trade with a specialty in planning, she currently works at the Project for Public Spaces in Manhattan. Prior to that she was Hastings’ Planner for five years. She and her two running mates were elected on the platform of promoting the revitalization of Hastings’ downtown and making the Village more business friendly— all in an effort to attract the kind of stores and services that would appeal to residents and visitors alike. The simple goal—to make Hastings a destination.
One to quickly give credit where it’s justly due, Trustee Walker pointed out the committed work that the Hastings Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Committee and the ad hoc "Friday Night Live" committee has accomplished. "I think the task before us all is that the community has to come up with a vision of what we want Hastings to be," she said.
"Place-making" is a term Walker readily uses, and one small aspect of what constitutes this term can be illustrated by the relatively new event "Friday Night Live." It has been celebrated twice in the Village, and there are plans to have a festive holiday theme event complete with a tree lighting ceremony on December 4th. "We have a special twist in Hastings. The Village is home to an incredible number of artists, singers, musicians and theatre people. What we thought was to make the downtown an attraction not only for shopping and dining but to also make it into a stage for our local talent," she said. "We not only wanted to help our local businesses but we also wanted to spotlight our people. We are so proud of the people who live here, but we don’t often have the opportunity to see and hear them," she added.
The December 4th Friday Night Live will feature a visit from Santa for all those who believe in the man and his magic. "We were extremely enthused after the first event on October 2 and we got some very positive feedback from the merchants who participated and opened their stores and restaurants. We won’t be closing Warburton Avenue regularly for this event. We simply wanted to make the first Friday Night Live a big event that filled the streets with people," she noted.
Hastings on Hudson is easy on the eye, as they say. Warburton Avenue and Main Street have a variety of stores in which to browse and shop. The streets leading down to the waterfront have wonderful shops and restaurants that have become a destination for many. With the addition of Friday Night Live along with other projected programs supported by Village government, Hastings is heading in the right direction for residents, merchants and visitors alike. That direction says, "Come and visit!"