Friday, August 30, 2002

What's Going

Many Evansville natives like to joke that they are from Boringville, Eville (hence the title of my personal web log), The Armpit of the Universe, Hickville, and some not-rated-G nicknames.

The apex of "Evansville pride" centers around Downtown Evansville, or "Historic Downtown Evansville" as some call it (as if that generates more ooh's and aah's). I previously held a silent disdain for Downtown Evansville, since lots of city funds were put into renovating it and attracting business there, while the West Side--where I live--suffered.

Now, all that has changed. Well, the West Side still has few things to do.

But I finally appreciate Downtown. Today afterschool, Elliot, Ben, Dan, and I walked to Sunset Park to play a friendly game of tennis. In the end, Elliot had been smacked by a ball in his side (I didn't mean to do that I swear!), Ben twisted his ankle, and we were all tired. "I have an idea, let's walk to the Pagoda," suggested Elliot. "It has a cold water fountain and cheap soda machines."

Huh? Pagowha?

Apparently Downtown Evansville has a "Convention & Visitors Bureau"--and for some reason we've yet to discern, it employs Japanese architecture. That's why it's named the Pagoda.

As we plodded down Riverside Drive to get to the Pagoda, we decided to randomly wave at passing cars...surprisingly we did not get a view of any Big Birds. In fact most of the drivers can us a little wave or smile, and we even elicted one friendly honkhonk! Conclusive proof that Evansville people can be friendly after all!

At the Pagoda we got some sodas and sat down to rest for a bit. That's when I found a brochure by Downtown Evansville, Inc. with a map of Downtown Evansville and all it's fun places. Who knew we had all this downtown? A Gus Doener Sports shop? An Office of Therapeutic Massage? Hammerheads Sports Bar & Nightclub? And Advantage Courts & Fitness!

As I parted ways with Elliot and Ben to get back to the Civic Center parking lot (free parking downtown!), I passed by the Riverfront...and wow I must say it is looking much better than before. There are decoration carousel horses, nice sidewalks with cool statues and figures, and the Riverfront doesn't smell as bad as the rest of the Downtown (it's the sewage apparently). If the previous Riverfront were a 0, and the Chicago Riverfront were a 10, the new Evansville Riverfront is about a 5-- which is a BIG improvment.

And now I realize just how awesome Downtown Evansville really is. Historic Downtown Evansville.

Unfortunately, re-examining the West Side, and I am reminded why Evansville is called Boringville.


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