29 March 2008

Saturday in the Stick

The glorious sunshine of a clear spring day beckoned (after the midday showers had passed over) and so I made my way downtown for the afternoon....

The primary objective was to witness the high water on the river:

The water line was lapping up to the beginning of the steps on the levee and was as smooth as glass. The spring snow melts and rains from up north swell the waterway in this manner around this time every year.

Oh, and there was a biker convention going down while I was there:

Looks like the Hells Angels were having a powwow.

Stopped at the local diner for some lunch....this building certainly is one of the best preserved examples of roadside mid century modern architecture around here:

Guess what was on the menu? Freedom fries!!

Get 'em while they last!!

After filling my stomach I took a drive through the 'hood on my way home:

Inspiring sight, isn't it?

See, this gets me thinking again. The local civic leadership always tout how this metropolis is becoming the next great Southern city. But no matter how many town centers or 'lifestyle' developments you build for the rich, as long as neighborhoods such as this filled with poverty, unemployment, and despair continue to exist in this city, are we truly that great?

Sure, poverty exists everywhere and it will never be fully eliminated. But I never hear anyone (except the mayor, on occasion) say that in order to be a great city, everyone (Black, White, brown) must benefit from the fruits of a productive and growing economy, and that everyone's skills and talents should be employed to that end. I often sense that civic greatness here is reserved only for the affluent and comfortable classes - people who are doing just fine for themselves already. Not coincidental that these are the same people who read the Business Report and all those other publications which constantly trumpet how great we are?

Sorry about the rant. Otherwise, a pleasant afternoon in the Stick.