Let Me Sum Up
Klyde Warren Park is off to a great start, but it does need to fix its beer problem. Plus: Benghazi!
I don’t drink much beer anymore. Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I’m getting old, and I have digestive issues, and beer makes me feel full after half a glass. If I’m looking for a small buzz to escape the miasma of modern life, I usually go another direction, like wine or those eye drops from Looper.
There is one obvious exception, and that is if I’m enjoying a wonderful day at the park. There, a beer is part of the experience, no?
No, indeed. For as D’s newly scruffy potentate Wick Allison noted this weekend, if you were one of the hundreds who witnessed the enormous Saturday crowd at downtown’s Klyde Warren Park, you did such witnessing sans beer (unless you smuggled a Dale’s Pale Ale in your britches).
Klyde Warren Park’s success, the true joy of sitting within it on a summery weekend day, is seeing how it draws people from all over the city.
Allison complains not about the scarcity of adult beverages at the wonderful new park itself. He focuses on the pedestrian unfriendliness of the Arts District that abuts it, saying that in more sophisticated urban environments, cafes and such would be plentiful, and people could stop for a leisurely drink or bite as they stroll from their cars to the park and back.
Patrick Kennedy, my fellow downtowner and Tottenham Hotspur fan (#COYS), was also at KWP on Saturday, and when the mood for beer struck him, he knew not to head toward the Arts District’s heart. Kennedy walked the half-mile to the bars and restaurants on Main Street, where he would be welcomed with many establishments offering sweet nectar on tap.
Klyde Warren Park intends to open a gastropub with full bar, which, when it goes in, will help the problem. But it doesn’t address the many good points made by Allison and Kennedy.
Both recognized huge flaws in this urban planning exercise: one, a sterile Arts District that only caters to folks who valet their Lexi from 7 to 10 pm on performance nights; the other a few thousand feet of office spaces that separate the park from people-friendly confines of Main Street.
This is a real issue. It’s very easy for me or Kennedy or Allison to forgive the park its trespasses. We live within walking distance, so the benefits plus the ease of access override concerns like “not enough tasty drinking options, on hand or nearby.”
But the park’s success, the true joy of sitting within it on a summery weekend day, is seeing how it draws people from all over the city. To continue doing so, at the current rate or greater, means addressing these issues before they become tipping-point issues, the things that make people decide the drive or the parking hassles aren’t outweighed by the joy the park itself brings.
Allison suggested cafes; Kennedy takes an urban planner’s look at what can be done to change the nature of the area surrounding the park. And I think Scott Reitz’s idea, that we move the farmers from the Farmers Market to the park, is freaking brilliant.
In any case, all of these suggestions should be taken seriously. It’s wonderful that this park is such a success, and that it has drawn such large crowds this quickly. But if these concerns aren’t being discussed behind closed doors — being addressed behind said doors — then I fear Klyde Warren Park could squander the good will it’s already acquired.
Oh, so NOW we should conserve water? When we’re out of it. Got it.
Maybe because DISD has its own police force 125 strong, and my daughter went to school through its system, but I’ve never had a problem with school cops. And this plan to let local districts decide whether they want to fund such a program makes sense on its face to me.
(pours Scotch) RT @buzzfeed Mad Men is returning April 7 with a two-hour premiere— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) January 23, 2013
I can hear Mike Hashimoto screaming “that’s BULLSHIT!” from here.
NOW LIVE: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi attack live.reuters.com/Event/Politics— Reuters Politics (@ReutersPolitics) January 23, 2013