Our view from the third floor of The Schoharie News office in Schoharie is unmatched, for we possess a commanding vantage point to observe all the historic village has to offer.
To our right we can see the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall, the Heritage House, and the beginning of the municipality's residencies. In front of us resides the county building, courthouse, and the daily coming and going of hundreds of people.
Looking left, we encounter both Schoharie's finest and most disappointing displays. On the finest spectrum rests the village's business district, which has grown at a impressive rate since the floods of Irene subsided in August 2011. It's truly inspiring to see as storefront after storefront has become occupied.
However, also looking to the left, we can't help but see what stands as the albatross of Schoharie: the Parrot House, which for one reason or another, has remained vacant for years and as such has stood out like a sore thumb in a beauty contest on Main Street.
We understand the reasons behind its current closure: expensive repairs, health violations, and a series of less than savory operators. The Parrot House is old and it requires more than just a little tender loving care to bring it back to glory. (probably to the tune of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars).
But bring it back to glory, we must.
More than just a bar and restaurant, the Parrot House offered curious visitors to the Schoharie Valley a historic lodging to rest their spurs at, fine food to wet their appetites with, and a starting point for which they could experience all we have to offer.
Much like Guilford Mills did in Cobleskill, the Parrot House poses daunting challenges to the future of Schoharie, because in its current state the building is a neutral object that, although unused, isn't causing a net loss to the village, but fully operational it would be nothing short of beneficial to its revitalization.
The first step to solving any problem is to admit that a problem exists in the first place, which I hope we all know by this point. Our question is: how do we get to step two and start addressing Schoharie's albatross in a productive and successful manner?
That - we are not pleased to admit - but we don't even know where to begin. What we do know is going back to our commanding view of the village, that we reside somewhere special with a lot of potential, which when put together, will restore Schoharie back to being the jewel of the Valley.