Monday, March 26, 2012

Digging out From the Flood

Landing Park, a park located alongside the Missouri River, has recently re-opened. It closed in late June of last year because of the approaching flood water. The river eventually covered the entire park and remained above flood stage for several months. Once the water receded, the city had to consult with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what to do with the silt left behind, some of which is visible in these pictures. It will take several more months before the city gets the grass to come back alongside the pathway and before the remaining park benches are re-installed.

This park, before it flooded and remained closed for about nine months, was one of my favorite places to walk. If the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh had emigrated here as a young man, say, after the publication of The Great Hunger, his statue would be located alongside the Missouri River instead of at the Grand Canal in Dublin. I don't know which place is more picturesque, only having spent one damp evening in Dublin when I was a teenager.

Although not likely, if I were to open a restaurant, I think I would place it alongside the Missouri River. It would need to be located on a bluff high enough to avoid any flood water, of course. That's assuming that people would be interested in eating the food that I prepare most often--rice concoction, aka broccoli bake, mild chili, barbeque ribs baked in the oven, and Irish stew. My wife imagines the creation of a glass walkway that would make it possible to walk out over the river. Sitting out on the desk on a summer evening, after the cicadas had stopped their nightly refrain, and while hearing the water driven south by the current, would be a great way to relax with friends. The idea is far more pleasant than actually creating the experience.