Wednesday, July 28, 2010

some like it hot [and outside]

is it just me, or does summertime remind anyone else of the 1930's?

i can't remember exactly when, but for the better part of my life, the summertime has evoked a feeling of that decade for me. now, i'm very aware the 30's were not the best decade in recent history, and my only experience of that time comes from books and film. however, from what i've read and seen, it makes perfect sense why this decade coincides with summer for me. it seems people in the 30's found pleasure in the simple things in life. with the depression effecting most of the country, people rarely went to far, exotic places for vacations. entertainment, rather, was found locally and with a community. also, with technology like the tv yet to be in every single home, people seemed more apt to spend time outside with friends.

all of last week, might as well have taken place in the 1930's for me. i was practically living in a "country time lemonade" commercial. within the course of a week, i was able to enjoy 18 holes of golf, watch a live musical, enjoy a film played outside and under the stars, and even took in a minor league baseball game. with the musical being, "annie" and the movie being "some like it hot", the 30's theme was only magnified.

so if you get a chance in the near future, i recommend having a 1930's week for yourself. slow things down, sit on a porch, grab some lemonade, and enjoy the last fading weeks of summer.

have some benny goodman or glenn miller playing softly in the background for an added effect.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

[grill] it and they will come

last weekend, i ate my first hot dog from a street vendor in wichita. believe me, this was not on my bucket list, but it did make me feel better about the future of wichita's downtown development.

i had a friend in town, visiting from kansas city, so much of the weekend was spent showing off wichita highlights. saturday evening found us in old town. at the end of the night, with the bars closing down, and our tabs paid, we wondered out onto the sidewalk, and were suddenly greeted with the most heavenly sent. grilled hot dogs! at that point in time nothing could have smelled better or more perfect. we had to have them. handing over four bucks for two dogs we quickly devoured them. walking home, i was thrilled at this little culinary surprise the city had offered up.

this same friend and i had just spent time in new york, a city filled with street vendors. a city which epitomizes urban living. street vendors are a small sign of a vibrant city, and wichita is beginning to have more options. as ironic as it may sound, having a smorgasbord of saturated fat on the sidewalk, is actually a healthy sign for downtown. remembering back to my "design and society" class in college, street vendors are very keen when it comes to lively spaces. with their business on wheels, they can quickly move to where the action is. they can easily fill a void not being met by regular establishments. in old town's case, there is a lack of late night restaurant choices to help sober up the drunken crowd. in come the vendors. the more people in an area, the more vendors will want to be there. with more vendors in an area, the more people will know where to head for a late night food fix.

for the benefit of the city, lets hope this cyclical evolution will start spilling into the lunch time crowd, and not just the jagerbomb crowd.