Des Moines has always had an identity crisis regarding its own Skywalk system. Its a utilitarian and necessary part of downtow, but its hard to find anyone who will say that they like it. Who knows how it has affected the growth of downtown, which is only now starting to have people move there. There are alarge temperature and wind variations in the system. Opening a door can mean opening a wind tunnel right into your face. The big companies have a bunch of hired goons who chase away the homeless and drunks. Theres a stampede in the morning and lunch hours, and then its tumbleweed time after five-thirty. Walking through parts is like a tour through bad architecture decisions of the past three decades.
On another note, the Des Moines Skywalk has 3 homemade tenderloin serving establishments, and at least that many serving frozen tenderloins.
Davydd, as a fellow architect I have my opinions about my home town and how it works, particularly when it comes to the built environment. Unfortunatley for me…its a small town and I’m doing a number of projects there. I have a problem expressing my opinion and not creating a conflict of interest.
Were I back in Chicago, I might consider being more vocal…Congrats on the piece…
True, but I did not know that. They did need my SSN. Getting paid was kind of a minor bonus. Knowing that someone thought I had something to say was more important to me. I think I struck a latent chord with the feedback I have been getting. [:)]
I’m not someone in any kind of known community expertise or official position and most commentaries are usually by someone with some credentials like an elected official; or someone in authority of a private company, non-profit, school or public agency.
If they published it as a commentary they owe you money. Letters, they don’t have to pay for. Op-ed pieces, they do.
Times Picyune the greatest newspaper name ever. [:)]
I have a friend who has been writing letters to the editor for years and seems to get published at least once per month. He says he can’t respond to my commentary because he has to wait until February. Now I am waiting for him to explain that. I wonder if the newspaper has put him on a ration. I know he is capable of blasting letters off daily and knowing him, probably does.
Minneapolis downtown compared to most cities is not that dead. It has a Target, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Saks. Its restaurant business is spread all over downtown and on nice days Nicollet Mall, a 12 block landscaped strip with only buses can get jambed with people at lunch hour and Peavy Plaza next to Orchestra Hall has frequent summer festival musical events. The Mall, the skyways and 32,000 downtown residents in a city of 340,000 has kept it somewhat alive.
While living in NOLA, I wrote to the Times Picyune twice and they both were published. One letter was in regards to an article about light pollution. I wrote that it took me about a 20 mile drive from the city to be able to go skywatching and see the yearly meteor shower that appears on my birthday.
Like your letter, mine was also accompanied with a photo of the nightime sky.
The second letter was based on what to do with the nutria problem as they were overrunning the canals and weakening and damaging them. My solution was to sell Nutria on a Stick on Bourbon St. I figured that most of the drunk tourists would be adventurous enough to try it once.
I wrote to the local paper here about the need for a dog park in this city. There is a park was that designed by the same person who created Central Park in Manhattan. My suggestion was that they take an area that is frequented by assorted lowlifes and what once was a lawn bowling site and put it there. Whenever these problem folks see me and my dogs coming, they get up and out of the area. The good citizens with dogs will keep them away.
The letter never saw print as the editorial section was swamped with letters for weeks about the local political scene. However, last year during the mayoral race, I did see the mayor and presented my same suggestions to him. He did seem very interested in the idea as I did present this idea as a low cost solution to a larger community problem. He won the election and yes, the town council has now started looking into the idea of a dog park within this city.
As for your letter, my city is in need of a real revitalization. It is a place where most people avoid. Maybe it is time for me to write to the paper with my idea for what they should do. When I lived in San Rafael, CA., it was a dead area with similar problems. Yet if you go there now, it is a vibrant and alive city. My solution here is that they take a trip to that city to see what can be accomplished. At this time of year and with this weather, I would be on the first plane to check things out…
Here’s that statue.
Big yellow trucks? Yellow Lexus maybe if they sold that color. [;)] Tonka Bay is a tiny community of 1,500 people and about 600 homes in the middle of sprawling Lake Minnetonka 20 miles from downtown Minneapolis. Half the homes are on the Lake Minnetonka shore where the value of the lots alone start at over a million dollars. The other half are like me living across the street in the woods. There are still remnants of a lot of little vacation lake cottages from a bygone era and today, sadly, I noticed they tore down my favorite cottage on the tip of Woodpecker Ridge Rd to be replaced by a yet another gargantuan mansion.
the ancient mariner
Congratulations Davy—maybe someone will have brains enough to listen to you.
I always knew you could do it, hanging out in Newport must have paid off.
Davy, from the standpoint of a visitor to Nicollet Mall and downtown you are spot-on. And your use of "complement"…you are to be complimented.[;)]
So how many people in Tonka Bay drive big yellow trucks?
Hey that’s terrific, Davydd. You make really good sense there, man.
That corner I mentioned has a statue of Mary Tyler Moore based on the old Mary Tyler Moore TV show intro where she throws her hat in the air on arriving in Minneapolis.
Not bad at all, David, if I correctly understand the issues (I’ve never been to Minneapolis).
One question: Who’s Mary?
Me, I never write letters to the editor. It would require reading the letters to the editor in the Miami Herald, and would likely shorten my life expectancy. [:(][:(][:(]
You should be excited and proud. That was really well written…..Great job!
Good writting Davydd.
Unlike most letters-to-the-editor in my hometown newspaper, your letter contains well-presented facts and opinions instead of emotional drivel using false or misleading statements.
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