Wednesday, June 06, 2007

On the Verge

I hate to get my hopes up, but I can't help feeling like Memphis is on the verge of being a REALLY awesome place to live. (I already think it is awesome--I'm talking REALLY awesome.) I just read the newish Skatelife Memphis blog and allowed myself to believe that Memphis might actually build a world class skate park on Mud Island. I mean, how freaking cool would that be? The only thing cooler would be if the Riverfront Development Company also threw in a rink especially for the Memphis Roller Derby league!

And then there's the Beale Street Landing project. I haven't quite figured out if I am supposed to be for or against this one. I mean it looks pretty in pictures, but I agree with Mary Cashiola that there needs to be something to DO once you get to the river. (Hello Chattanooga!) In her Flyer column today, Mary suggested climbable art. I love this idea. I immediately thought of the Tate Modern Slides exhibit in London. I realize that can't quite be recreated on the riverfront, but it could certainly inspire some folks. (Are you listening?) Maybe a the perfect fit is somewhere between this:



and this:


Actually, those concrete slides in Golden Gate Park would be a great fit on the bluffs. Anyone ever seen how much fun kids have sliding down the bluffs during the Fourth of July fireworks?

Even if there is awesome stuff to climb/play on Beale Street Landing and there's an awesome skate park on Mud Island, it only makes sense that the two somehow be connected. The Gates of Memphis makes this argument quite well.

The only thing that really doesn't fit in to me is the Bass Pro Shops thing. But hey, maybe it could work. We'll see. I'm not opposed to riding an inclinator shaped like bait up to the top of the Pyramid. It could be fun.

The icing on the cake of course is the Wolf River Greenway Master Plan. I mean, really, that's even more exciting than the skate park. Warren is always complaining that Memphis is sorely lacking in the getting in touch with nature category. No one can move mountains here, but a neverending trail could really rock the house. Since it's going to go all the way to Collierville, maybe we could start canoeing as a family to roller derby bouts! Ha!

And if that weren't enough, The Junk Yard, Memphis' version of The City Museum in St. Louis, seems to be gaining momentum.

So yeah, I'm excited by the possibilities. I've got my fingers crossed--except for when I'm typing--but I won't hold my breath.

8 comments:

Aaron said...

Thanks for visiting the skatelife blog. I am going to forward your link to the RDC so that they can check out those concrete slides that you have posted.

BTW, the Beale Street Landing passed yesterday. I went to the city council meeting to support the Greenline initiative which passed without a hitch.

Now we just need to get the skatepark done so that people at the Landing have something to watch!

It gets potentially better, there maybe a small chance that the RDC could use an awesome group to build a community built playground on Mud Island. Check out their site...http://www.leathersassociates.com./ This is the group that designed the community built playground down in Oxford. I forwarded the info to them, they liked it BUT it's merely speculative at this point.

Stacey Greenberg said...

Aaron, the community built playground does sound awesome! I looked at the pictures on their site and am impressed! Where is the playground in Oxford? This may merit another trip down...

The more I think about the concrete slides, the more I think they could work. (Of course they'd have to be placed so that kids weren't sliding into traffic on Riverside Drive!)

Chip said...

I want to slide down a big slide onto Riverside Drive!

I may even learn how to skate...

john in midtown said...

I'm headed to the City Museum for the first time this weekend with our two year old. We're hoping to wear her down enough to get her to take a nap in the hotel, which isn't likely to happen. I could do a recap on the trip if you'd like. Our second monkey is -3 three months old, so it would really be a "Dining with Monkey" recap. I don't know if this is a deal killer or not. Still, Child #2 does make a lot of demands from his belly throne.

Does anyone else remember the amazing playground that used to be at Mud Island. If I recall, it was torn down due to liability issues. I work in government and hear "liability" thrown around a good bit, so I wonder if anything fun for kids will have to be done privately (or semi-publicly like the zoo and children's museum...would the RDC fall under this category?).

You're right that there's lots to get excited about in Memphis right now (and of course lots to be terrified about). Hopefully, a lot more can be done in the next 10 years or so to make the city more kid friendly, especially Downtown.

urbanplanetmemphis said...

i couldn't agree more. we're living in a city on the verge, ready to bust open with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm. look for the "memphis metrics" in the near future...it's the second generation of the memphis manifesto.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad i'm not the only one who's optimistic about memphis...

granted, new leadership needs to be able to carry everything out to fruition, but i really do feel like we're at a "make or break" time in our city's history...

Aaron said...

The Oxford community park is about 1 mile from the skatepark. Just drive past the skate park and keep going straight.

As for the RDC and liability. I think there have been some Recreational Use statutes passed making it pretty difficult to bring lawsuits against parks on private or public land.
Here is the law in more detail
http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/dawson/recreate/tn_rec.htm

Aaron said...

correction...

http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/dawson/recreate/tn_rec.htm

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