The Riverfront on a Rainy Sunday
Went to breakfast with Sandy, Rick and Rabecca at the Home Town Buffet this morning. Left the house about 9:30 and enjoyed a nice meal with pleasant conversation and excellent service. An older Filipina was doing the omelets to order and cooked up a ham, onion, mushroom, bell pepper and jalapeno omelet for me to perfection. Nice thing about a buffet, everyone gets what they want.
So after breakfast we parted, Rick and Rabecca off in the Mustang, and Sandy and I out to complete a small task and pick up some DVD's to watch. I dropped off a couple of books at the library and will wander down tomorrow for a couple more. Bukowski's Flash of Lightning behind the Mountain was a fascinating collection of his poetry, the other Anthology was passable. I also dropped off a copy of my first book of poetry as a donation to the library.
Since I was downtown, I decided to swing by the Riverfront and see what it looked like in the rain on a sleepy Sunday morning.
Sort of an eerie feeling, really, to be there when it is deserted. Not that it is ever all that crowded. It should be, mind you, and would be if the Catholic Diocese of Peoria did not have the kind of pull it has in the local government. But the repressive Catholic bishop lobbied against the docking of the Casino boat, the Pair-a-dice, on our side of the river, and now the business is booming over on the East Peoria side while all the efforts in the world seem to fall short on this side of the river.
In addition to the Spirit of Peoria and their excursions up and down the Illinois, the riverfront development features areas for restaurants, shops, and a recreational doc for local boaters. Looking north you see the Gateway building and the Visitor's center, looking south you see the platform with underground parking and the long river walk with lots of local sculpture and great views of the river and the opposite shore line. Across the street from the platform with parking is the new Museum, partially funded by Caterpillar, Inc. and pretty much dominated by them. The museum features historical information about Peoria and a giant screen movie format (not IMAX, they pulled out of the deal halfway through the construction over a dispute about parking space) which has yet to feature anything but the twenty minute historical film put together by the city.
Now we have the Civic Center, which features an arena, a theater, and a huge exposition hall along with a newly added area for conventions, but since the current modernization of the Hotel Pere Marquette by the Marriot Corporation is months from completion, the closest hotels and restaurants are in East Peoria, conveniently accessible via the Bob Micheals Bridge. Across from the Civic Center Box Office on Jefferson is the newly relocated Big Al's, the “world famous” strip club. So much for class and taste.
When they turned down the contract for the Riverboat, they essentially destroyed any chance at reviving the economy in Peoria.
So, will it play in Peoria? Who Cares!
Oh, almost forgot. Expendables 2, Fire With Fire, Hope Springs, Flight, and Trouble with the Curve. Have to catch up on my favorite actors, so I'll be spending the day with Sylvester, Bruce, Tommy Lee, Denzel, and Clint. Probably toss in a little Paul Masson to top it all off. What the hell, it's the weekend.