My plan to start posting more was derailed by a trip to Arizona. The trip had been planned since early December, but boy did it end up being a good week to be out of the Midwest. I had intended to post a few things while I was gone, but it didn't end up working out.
Every time I visit the Phoenix metro area it reminds me how much I like it here. Sure, being able to walk outside in January in shorts and short sleeves can be nice, but driving anywhere in our metro in 15 or 20 minutes all year is nice too. It was also quite noticeable that I was visiting an area that is very much affected by our current economic crisis. Lots of closed car dealerships, closed stores, and "Foreclosure house auction" signs around. There did seem to be a good amount of development along their light rail route, which just opened, but I can't say for sure its directly tied to the new mass transit option.
Some good news for downtown Davenport
There is now a large construction trailer in the parking lot of the Blackhawk Hotel. Also, if you look at the Scott County Assessor's page for the property it still shows IOC as the deed holder, but if you click on the Auditor/Treasurer Report you can see it listed as "HOTEL BLACKHAWK LLC" with an address in St. Louis in the same building (restored by Restoration St. Louis) where Restoration St. Louis is based. So I think its safe to say that IOC actually followed through on something for once, and transferred the hotel. It will be interesting to see what the sale price is shown as when the Assessor's section updates. I'm very excited about this project. It will be great to get some market-rate apartments in downtown, and great to get the Blackhawk back to its former glory.
What is with people? I was saddened to read the news online about Sunderbruch park being vandalized. I would like to see something done to catch whoever may be doing it. Maybe the VIPs or Guardian Angels can stake out the place come Spring.
In other vandalism news, when I was downtown taking pictures before I left for vacation, I stopped in the Skybridge. The wreath at the North end looks great from the outside. Then I went inside and saw that it looked like the strings on the bottom half were out for some reason. I walked up close to look and saw that the strings were fine, but people had stolen all the bulbs out of everywhere within reach. Nice. I think people caught doing stuff to the Skybridge should be assigned the job of cleaning bird crap off of the observation deck. This is another area where I'd like to see some kind of volunteer effort to really patrol the place frequently. Maybe some coordination between the VIPs, GA's, and maybe some additional volunteers? Maybe even Rhythm City's security, since it is supposedly the "Rhythm City Skybridge." I doubt people would do this stuff if someone else was in there, and I'd be willing to spend an hour or two a week strolling back and forth in the place with my cell phone handy. Its too bad its not always as popular as it was during the floods.