By 6:30 p.m., the place was nearly a ghost town. Bandito Burrito sat under a covered entrance with no customers, and inside, workers took white cloths off of tables and tied up several large bags of multi-colored trash.
All of that followed the Taste of Greensboro at Heritage Greens last Thursday. It featured food from the Bandito Burrito food truck, Josephine’s Kitchen catering and WineStyles beverages. The event was supposed to reflect the tastiest cuisine from all over Greensboro, though the number of places represented was sparse.
The Taste of Greensboro schedule indicated that it would run from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and that a movie would follow, but not a soul occupied the event space outside by the time 6:30 p.m. rolled around. Only a lone woman (with her little dog, too) strolled the sidewalks under the looming clouds that threatened a drizzle.
This deserted atmosphere may have something to do with the location of the event. Heritage Greens is a retirement community located on a mostly residential road that runs perpendicular to West Market Street and Wendover Avenue. Even if you are trying to find it, you are likely to drive past it before realizing where it is.
But that is not to say that Heritage Greens is not a welcoming place.
The apartments are nestled in well-landscaped greenery and a Koi pond with massive fish is featured in a depressed area by the entrance.
It is one of around 20 senior-living or assisted living facilities in Greensboro, which has a population that is getting older. A City of Greensboro planning report estimates that the median age of Greensboro will increase by more than a year by 2019.
That number may not seem very significant, but it speaks to a greater trend of an aging national population, especially with most baby boomers moving into retirement age. People may need to reassess what it means to be older.
Heritage Greens, for instance, schedules events almost every week for its residents and invites the rest of Greensboro to be a part of it.
But perhaps trying to incorporate a greater community into those events is the problem. In trying to bridge the gap in a city with both many college-aged and retirement-aged residents, what kind of event does the trick?