Why does an attractive – even magnetic – gathering place such as The Shops at Sea Pines Center appear in so many cultures and all through the history of civilization? It seems to bring deep satisfaction when people have a place to go that is both public and personal, secure and yet surprising. These spots became special. Their power of attraction probably originated from the agreeable experiences people encountered there.
Where Ideas, Neighbors, and Merchandise Meet
We’ve enjoyed the results of civilization for so many generations that it’s hard to repaint the picture of what a gathering place meant, back when our attraction to them began. It’s been easy to locate most of the things we need for day-to-day life for so long that we forget what an achievement it was, when food and clothing began to come without risk or adventure. When spices and silk first made their way to Europe, that was the culmination of a months-long caravan, a journey whose hazards and hardships were worthy of a chronicle every time.
The end points of those caravans were places of celebration. It wasn’t only the merchandise, but the experience of encountering it, and of sharing news and ideas with the others who gathered there, that made these markets into parks, into forums for the familiar and exhibits of the extraordinary.
A clear example on a smaller scale, and more recently, the plaza at Santa Fe still bears the traces of the Santa Fe Trail that led to and from it. Imagine the joy of being finished with that arduous trip, or of strolling down to that square to see what the intrepid travelers had brought with them this time.