Just Add Water

So there I was, all set to take the week off, and at the last minute a topic popped into mind...during Sunday lunch no less. Just when I thought was out…they pull me back in…

The meaning of Sunday lunch for me, has changed over time. As a youth, that was the family meal of the week. We had no consistent lunch type, but we typically alternated between eating at Baba’s and eating at Martin’s. Unassailable, however, was the notion that everyone in the family would be there. These days, food continues to play major role in my family. I cook every night of the week, and I insist that the four of us eat at the dining room table each night (with the exception of major sporting events when eating in front of the TV is encouraged). Sunday lunch, for whatever reason, is the one meal of the week that I don’t really feel like cooking. This is fine, but it begs the question of where the family will eat.  The challenges I face are that a) I am boycotting a number of restaurants for urban design reasons; b) the restaurants I like either aren’t suitable for children or aren’t open; c) I refuse to venture outside of downtown to eat; and d) the other palates in the household are underdeveloped (that’s the nicest way I can say that the other three like to eat at horrible places that turn my stomach). The upshot of this is a very short list of downtown restaurants that we can all agree on. Yesterday, we decided to go to an old standby- River Street Deli (I highly recommend the tongue sandwich).

Apparently, it is more fun to ride the tiger.

Surprise, surprise, it was another rainy weekend. After lunch, however, there was a brief break so we decided to spend a bit of time in Coolidge Park at the carousel. After the obligatory fight over who got to ride the tiger, we had a couple of spins and were ready to make for the house. Now when I think of my beloved boys (even at the best of times) the words “calm”, “restraint”, and “sane” do not immediately spring to mind. As we left the carousel pavilion, however, they outdid themselves in losing their ever-loving minds. Why? Water. Despite the fact that this substance has kept them inside for two months, has cancelled their soccer games and ruined their plans, the sight of it squirting out of a concrete lion’s mouth sent them into a frenzy.

That’s the fact. Kids and their parents love water in public places. Look at the most successful public spaces in our city- the one thing they have in common is water. Miller Park…water. Miller Plaza…water. Aquarium Plaza…water. Coolidge Park…water. 21st Century Waterfront…water. Renaissance Park...water. It’s not rocket science, if you want to create a successful and well-used public place, put a water feature in it. I think that’s one thing we could use in the Southside. Back in the day we (and by we I mean Eric Myers and Richard Rothman while I sat at a nearby drafting table) tried to incorporate a playful water feature into the 17th Street water tower, but that never quite panned out. As an alternative, I think the triangular public parcel at Main and Rossville (next to the fire hall) is an excellent potential location.

Anyway, big meeting in the morning so I’m out. Feel free to cogitate on the Southside water feature idea. I will probably take the upcoming week off...seriously....I mean it....really...

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