15 March 2011

burning question.

I'm in one of those let's-be-honest moods. I just want to know the answer to an honest question that has been on my mind for quite sometime now.  Ready?  No, "ready" isn't the real question.  The real question is: why are there no loitering signs on our courthouse lawn?  The last time I checked, the courthouse is one of the most appealing, identifiable and picturesque places in Windom, so why can't I just sit and enjoy it once in awhile?  There are benches on the courthouse lawn, and benches automatically create a sense of place, but these benches are juxtaposed by the same amount of  no loitering sign.  You are hearing me correctly for those of you who have never seen the benches and the signs--they are there and they share a space.  In the words of Alanis Morsette, "isn't it ironic?"  I'm jealous of Larry Buhler, he is the only one who gets to loiter on our courthouse square--maybe that is why he is always smiling?

Opposites do not attract in this case.  Benches and no-loitering signs, benches and no-loitering signs, hmmm. It is a bit comedic, don't you think?  I'm sure Jay Leno would love to see a picture of this.  It's like putting a no parking sign in a parking lot or a don't touch the animals sign in a petting zoo.  Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.  I realize there probably was a very good reason as to why the signs went up, but I think it is time to reconsider and take a look at it again.

After all, according to the book The Great Neighborhood Book, "a key ingredient to lively, safe, fun neighborhoods is public spaces where people gather.  People out in the streets bring a community magically alive. You get to know your neighbors, you feel secure, and you have a place to hang out.  And there's one simple way to do this: give everyone a spot to sit down.  A bench or chairs can transform a lonely space into a lively place.  People out walking or out shopping will stop to rest their legs.  Others will then sit down, and conversations will arise.  Soon people will make a point of heading there, knowing they will find company."

Benches: such a simple, inviting concept.  Kind of fits Finding Windom's mission: WELCOME to WINDOM, ENJOY, SIT and STAY AWHILE.

No comments:

Post a Comment