My Town Monday: March

It rains. And it rains. Soon, the weatherman tells us, the snow will be gone from our yards and gardens, slowly whittled away by pelting water that falls steadily from the bleak skies.

Spokane River in March, rain and melt

The river roils with energy, its power unleashed and clearly visible.

March River, strength and energy

The water pushes its way through town, tumbling toward the lower (but truly higher) falls where it hurtles over the edge and drops to a wider and more peaceful valley flow.

From above the falls, Spokane River

This is not the highest it has been in the past five years; there have been times when to stand on the suspension bridge meant getting soaked from the spray. However, more rain is expected over the next two days, with temperatures that will encourage continued snowmelt.

 

Downtown was quiet this afternoon compared to the noise of Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. We avoided the crowds and noise then (sorry, no parade pictures due to our 5th year of not going) but today SuperDad and I had a late lunch/early supper of corned beef sandwiches at the Irish pub. The taste was so rich and flavorful that I had to close my eyes and focus on each bite. As I write this, four hours have passed and I’m still smiling — this is what good food can do to a person.

The view across the street from the restaurant, however, is different story.

farewell to the old carrosel building

I’m not smiling over this scene, despite it being positive progress; this structure that was erected for Expo ’74 — and has housed the 1909 Looff Carrousel since 1975 — is being dismantled, torn down after 42 years. The carrousel itself, with its band organ and wonderful painted horses and other animals, is safely in storage (and/or being restored) during the time needed to take down the old building and put up a new one. The park feels achingly empty without the carrousel. I’ll have to wait another year to have that space filled once again.

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MTM: from yard to park

Riverfront Park, clock tower

The iconic clock tower is all that is left of the railroad depot that originally dominated this piece of land. Burlington Northern donated the land for Expo 74 and the result is a lovely park that anchors various events in downtown Spokane.

This is what it looked like before it became a park:

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The former passenger depot, built in 1902

The former passenger depot, built in 1902

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The old rail yards became the location of Expo ’74. Now known as Riverfront Park, the Spokane River flows past meadows used for outdoor concerts, the opera house, the convention center, sculptures, walking and biking paths, and an historic 1909 Looff Carousel.

Expo '74 Site in 2009
Above photo found at https://flic.kr/p/6kNWCz

DSCN2782  Riverfront Park, for web

This is a “recipe” that was used by another city just 12 years later, when Vancouver, British Columbia, hosted Expo ’86. Old rail yards and run-down property were turned into a beautiful showplace for the city to enjoy long after the Exposition left town.
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**The photograph showing an Expo ’74 official program was found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/expomuseum/3505956193/in/set-72157617763182810
**All other photographs are my own, although obviously I took photos of old public images that were on display for all to see at Riverfront Park.  

Year of the Goat

Garbage eating Goat, Riverfront Park, Spokane

Children of all ages enjoy feeding the goat used napkins and other bits of trash.

Last summer, the City of Spokane marked the 40th birthday of our infamous garbage-eating goat. There was birthday cake served to the people who came to the party and a special beer served at the Irish pub across the street from the goat’s park home.

Riverfront Park, City of Spokane blocks

I have been remiss in sharing with you the interesting places we have here, so I will be making an effort in posting My Town Monday pieces on a semi-regular basis.  What better time than the lunar new year named for a goat?

Did you celebrate the lunar new year over the past two weeks?