Friday, August 6, 2010

stinky park

I stopped down at Mankato Ribfest today at Riverfront Park.
I love ribs, they are perhaps my favorite food.  Of course, good ribs is what I mean.  There is a lot to be disappointed about when you get substandard ribs.
It always used to be that Ribfest was kind of wedged into this area behind the Free Press and around the corner from the Bar-muda Triangle.  Now they have this new Riverfront Park down behind Denco and Midtown Tavern and it looks like Mankato is going to try and do all those little festival type things there instead.
I went down today in search of some ribs to try; I even made sure I ate the ones from Arizona in honor of my friends Misty and Ben who are both from AZ.
First of all, I miss the festivals behind the triangle.  I know it wasn't as convenient for many reasons and that there were space issues but there was decent parking and you were close to the other things in the area when you got sick of eating overpriced food and drinking overpriced beer and pop.  But there is something worse that I noticed this time around.
Riverfront Park is not a bad place, it is spacious and the council in Mankato tried really hard to make it very pleasant.  But there is something they couldn't do anything about it seems.
Riverfront sits right next to a dump and an industrial section of the city.
Not only does it kind of smell down there but you have to park next to the dump in order to get to the park.
There are parking spots close to the park but they close those off except for handicapped parking during events.  (I don't know about that since it seems to me those spots are never even close to being filled so they are making more people not want to go down there because you have to walk across train tracks and by a smelly dump to get to the park.)
Walking doesn't bother me as much; you usually had to walk a little to get to ribfest or wherever you were going anyways.
But the thing I noticed today is the dump.  I really does smell.  And that doesn't really help an appetite for ribs.  Or even make it pleasant to park down there.  The trash and junk is piled high enough that you can't miss it and the area is kind of dirty and gross.
I walked by today and I was hungry enough that I kind of ignored the situation when I went to the park but as I came back I really looked as I went by.
I am not a environmentalist superfreak like some people are.  I recycle and I don't litter but I don't only buy biodegradable products and I don't hug trees or anything like that.  But I am saddened by that trash pile nonetheless.
It is sad that you can look at the park and the dump right next to each other and see such a contrast in concepts.  The park is meant to be beautiful and a chance to sit in harmony with nature as you enjoy music or food and right next to it is a symbol of the result of our indulgences.
I realize that I have been a part of this problem because I too have taken advantage of not being overly environmentally conscious.
I am not going to go extreme on the subject but I do want to stop and think more often of what I can do to keep the planet looking more pleasant for everyone.
(Please don't get me started on other environmental issues because that is a huge discussion I don't want to get into right now but I have my thoughts on that too)
I hope that as I think back to my experience today I can remember the little things as I go through life and do what I can to help make things beautiful to experience for the generations after me as well as for myself.

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