Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stealing from the Vox: Need-to-dos before students re-invade

I really don't have many ideas for this blog at the moment. I'm planning something ambitious to start next week, but we'll see about that. My postings always pick up in the fall.

However, today I picked up a Vox at the Sub House. Inside were a couple of great ideas for blog posts. I figure that I can steal their ideas and ridicule their choices at the same time.

The piece I found interesting was the "5 Things" column that featured need-to-dos before the students return. Ironically, I believe Vox is written by students, but I digress. This is what I think of the five...

Enjoy the empty campus and downtown parking lots
Um, have you parked on campus this summer? I have. The lots are always full by 9:00. I usually park on an upper level of my garage. As for the downtown parking, it's never really that bad. A two-block walk is nothing in a major city. The parking at either location changes much in the fall.

Review the restaurant scene
It's claimed in this piece that there's barely a wait to get into downtown restaurants when the students are away. Hmmm. That doesn't explain the hour waits at Flat Branch all summer or the packed dining rooms at most downtown restaurants. The worst time to go out downtown is the beginning or end of any semester as students have their parents take them out for a good meal.

Make a Wal-mart run
No matter how vacant the students have left the Wal-Marts in town, I won't shop there. Besides, Wal-Mart's regular clientele keep it afloat. I have yet to see a Wal-Mart wiped out by incoming college students. Now Target, that's another story.

Take a stroll downtown
Really? One of the factors for a downtown stroll suddenly losing its appeal cited in the article is the influx of football fans. Come on. I lived in Columbus, Ohio. We had a little school by the name of The Ohio State University. That stadium held almost two times the number of people as Faurot Field, not to mention the other 50-100,000 people gathered outside the stadium. So, the measly crowds that show up to Mizzou games are nothing about which to write home. Well, that is, except for when Texas rolls into town. Downtown might be crowded on that day.

Savor a Scoop
While I agree that one should get as much ice cream in before the summer and that supporting a local business like Sparky's is an even better idea, I don't know that it's so busy after the kids get here that you'll never enjoy your favorite scoop.

So, I'm not too impressed with this list. I'm sure it was hard to write, but I think it sort of missed the boat. Here are my top-5 need-to-dos before the students re-invade. Berate them as you like.

5. Use the crosswalks without fear of death
It's funny how those thick white lines are supposed to protect pedestrians as they traverse 9th Street, because they don't. Much in the same way those pseudo-bike lanes painted all over the place won't protect you from that frat boy in the SUV, hurrying to drop his buddy off at class from hitting you either. I've walked through London and never felt in danger of being struck by a car the way I feel impending death as I walk through the District (of Columbia). For now, though, crosswalks are safe.

4. Speed down the streets of Columbia
Speaking of safety on the roads, the local law enforcement officers really up their game for the arrival of the students. Something happens as August moves along and the po-po start passing out tickets like they're going out of style. I know more people who get tickets in August and September around these parts than at any other time of year. Beware, the cops are out to catch some speeding college kids at the end of the month. So, get your speeding in now.

3. Rent new releases at Ninth Street Video (on Hitt St.)
It is almost impossible to get a new release at Ninth Street Video once the kids arrive. This is a small video shop with a loyal following, but you better get in their early for the new Adam Sandler movie. Those college kids have a lot of time and disposable funds for some late night flicks.

2. You can actually claim your balcony seat at the Blue Note
As one gets older, he likes to sit at a rock show. So, I often order a balcony seat at the 'Note. To my chagrin, my seat is almost always occupied with some college kids psyched to get the seat in the front row. In the summer, that doesn't happen as there is nobody at the shows in June and July.

1. Not blog
I'm not going to pretend that my readership is huge and all the kids come flocking to lim for their RSS needs, but my numbers double between September and May. I write one or two reviews of a show and I gain so many readers. In the summer, I don't have to worry about fulfilling anyone's expectations for a post every day or a comment on last night's show. I can take it easy or even post nothing for two weeks. Once classes begin, I'll blog constantly.

There you have it, my need-to-dos before the students return. I'll admit that it's worse than the Vox piece. You should tell me what items are on your need-to-do list.

1 comment:

KR said...

ok, Vox may not have had as good of a top 5 as you picked. But I lived in Columbia for 4 years straight, never going home for a summer or for many holidays, and I think some of the Vox ideas are pretty right on.

The parking garages were always awful over the semesters, but I did use them a lot in the summers, especially after we moved to a house way down on Providence that last year.

But you're right, Flat Branch is always a clusterfuck. That's indisputable. And even suggesting that Walmart needs anymore business is insulting. For god's sake, aren't there like 5 there now? They should be encouraging shopping at any OTHER place while the students aren't there, just to even the playing field.

But I did enjoy walking around downtown without all the kids cluttering up the sidewalks all summer. And I guess we should be ashamed that we're not Columbus, OH? But Columbia wasn't ever built to be a huge football mecca, anyway. And I know you know that.

Enjoy the last few weeks before the freshmen show up and try to mow you down in the crosswalks.