With the conclusion of Fresh Paint Springfield LunaLucia appeared, looming over Dwight Street. Many of my friends have commented at the irony that she is gracing the side of a parking garage, given my aversion to such structures:
GoodSpace Murals was the name of the group of artists from Minnesota who created the idea and executed the mural on the Skyview Towers parking garage. Their method of forming the finished product out of smaller pieces of canvas which can be painted, paint by numbers style, by members of the community is beyond any shadow of a doubt the process which created the most energy and excitement during the festival.
I have to note here that the former Chestnut Towers, now Skyview Towers, was considered by many a sort of Pruitt-Igoe for downtown Springfield. To the members of the GoodSpace Murals team it was Xanadu. They couldn’t stop talking about the welcome they received and the constant barrage of food, goodwill, and help with their work that came with it.
The team also seemed to fall in love with the city itself. I mentioned to a member of the team that others have said that Springfield reminds them of St Paul to which he responded, perhaps in a display of Minnesota Nice, that he found Springfield to be a much more beautiful city than either of the Twin Cities. Every member of the team expressed a strong desire to return here to work as soon and as often as possible stating that they had never had such a phenomenal experience.
Some of the projects simply couldn’t be completed in just one week! John’s art beautifies the One Financial Plaza building, the Dr Seuss Museum at the Quadrangle, and the MGM Plaza.
As my wife and I walked through the downtown on Friday…during what was a school day in Springfield, we saw a few young cyclists plying their trade on the sidewalks and going the wrong direction on the streets, and even on bike paths:
We experienced 5 incidents of cyclists behaving…non optimally as we walked the downtown and, yes, they were a greater nuisance than even automobiles. It’s not just that bikes are ubiquitous; a good thing. The young men on bikes behaving badly has really become endemic to walking downtown truth be told and it just might provoke a response.
The Worthy Brewfest attracted a large crowd as usual:
I enjoy the atmosphere and the architecture at least as much as the beer:
As chance would have it I accidentally captured one of my colleagues from school in this photograph; and not just any colleague, but a colleague whom I have often referred to as the UN-me. I even wrote about him in one of my very first posts here at Rational Urbanism. He was the teacher who expressed that not only would he never live downtown, but that he was considering a move from his exurban home because there were plans to build a house like his house near his house. What was this avowed anti-urbanist doing at this most urban of beer festivals? Turns out he’s been spending some time at MGM and he and his wife have enjoyed it and so they decided to give the Worthy Brewfest a chance. He did take a shot at Manhattan as we spoke; I’m not sure if that was to maintain his anti-urban cred, or if it was to endear himself to me.
I also met a fellow urban pioneer at the Worthy; he threatened a violent response if anyone (well, the mayor) called him an “urban pioneer” one more time so I thought I’d oblige. The more of us there are the less pioneering it will seem and the better for all of us. His family really loves the movie theater a at MGM. It’s possible that the nay-sayers were wrong and the “magic feather effect” is affecting its magic.