Normally this is a space for malcontent, where we sling arrows and pointed criticism of the cities in which we live and the institutions that prop them up.

But now, at Christmas week, it’s a good time to acknowledge that things in the Triad are not all that bad. In fact, they’re pretty good.

So indulge us, if you will, in a bit of seasonal optimism.

In Greensboro, where most of our staff lives, voters re-elected the most diverse city council in decades, capping it off by putting Justin Outling in District 3 as the first African American to represent a city district with a majority white electorate in Greensboro’s history.

Construction moves apace on several downtown projects, including the Tanger Performing Arts Center and its attendant facilities, Joymongers Brewing near the ballpark and the Union Square campus across Gate City Boulevard, adding dimension and luster to the city’s most important neighborhood.

Somewhat less sexy but perhaps even more vital is the construction of the urban loop, which when completed will give travelers more ingress points into the city. There’s even some work going on at the Cone Boulevard Extension, which will combine with the new development at Revolution Mill to give real heft to the often ignored northeast quadrant.

Winston-Salem is reeling — in a good way — from a cultural renaissance that is redefining business and the arts, and the relationship between them. Connections continue to be forged among makers, entrepreneurs, politicians and schools, building a lasting social infrastructure. And a slew of new public spaces — the ArtPark and Bailey Park among them — have brought the citizenry together to relish what has been created.

A city council election in the fall — the first under a new municipal schedule that moved the contest to even-numbered years — has no viable candidates challenging the consensus indicating the movement will almost certainly continue without much upheaval.

Even High Point seems to be tapping into this newfound spirit of optimism in its own way, with a couple new breweries in the pipeline, unimpeded growth at High Point University and, at long last, possible plans for downtown streets that have nothing to do with the marketing of furniture. We can dream, anyway.

Sometimes, in the gathering of news and dissemination of opinion, we lose sight of the good stuff: the progress of the Triad as a region, where we are all headed and the things that bind us. And though there’s plenty to complain about, there is much to celebrate in our little corner of the world.

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