Monday, January 16, 2017

Vandals in Washington Park

Photos from a recent spate of vandalism in Washington Park which occurred over the weekend when Springfield was supposed to be in the grip of an ice storm. From January 14-16, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why does nothing cool seem to last in Springfield?

Someone I know started a business in downtown Springfield several years ago, actually a little over a year before the Great Recession of 2008, but I wonder if the recession really had anything to do with the business ending.

She had all sorts of cool ideas for promoting her business as well as stimulating public interest in downtown Springfield, but she was met with resistance. It seems most of the downtown businesses who managed to survive the recession, did so because they are shored up by hidden outside sources of income, and the shops are mostly just hobbies.

It makes me wonder why Vinegar Hill Mall had such a high turnover, and why the downtown business occupancy is pretty low. A month after I left for the west coast in 2012, the Illinois Times published an article called Making Downtown Lovable. I returned to Springfield in October of 2016, and all I noticed was that the Cardologist has relocated next to Recycled Records and there's a Hy-Vee down on MacArthur, give or take a few new restaurants popping up in old locations.

The fancy face of downtown is loaded with a lot of mascara, eye-liner and lipstick, paid for mostly by allowances dolled out by spouses who are state employees, lawyers, doctors or other large business owners.

If you think you can just start up a business cold in downtown Springfield, think again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Springfield Growing Pains Extend to After Hours Too

The State Journal-Register reported that Ward 6 Alderman Chuck Redpath proposed new rules for downtown 3 a.m. bars in Springfield, IL. It seems doubtful that there is money to hire more police for the third shift, so the alternative is to rein in the businesses instead.

Why? Because of stuff like this: Springfield, IL TRASH fighting on New Years Eve

If this town really wants to grow up to be a big city, perhaps it could use some help from local super heroes like Phoenix Jones and the Rain City Super Heroes Movement.