Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pueblo River Walk

It was a bookend kind of day.  We awoke to rain and we ended our day with rain.

Can't even see our mountain through the rain

  But in between we had a wonderful, sunny, warm afternoon strolling along the River Walk in Pueblo.  We ate lunch by the water and watched people and dogs stroll by.  The restaurant we chose was next to a erratically spurting fountain filled with laughing kids trying to outsmart the jets.  What fun they were having.

Beautiful mosaic depicting the great flood that devastated the business and industrial center of the city. 

On either side of this mosaic, carved into panels of shiny black granite, was the story of the Arkansas River, its floods, its eventual diversion, and the part it plays today in the revitalization of Pueblo's Historical District.

I took some great pictures of these panels, with Dave and I reflected in them, but of course, I can't get them to take up residence on this blog.  Sorry.

We were impressed with this area.  It is such a well thought out and well executed public area.  Places to laugh and talk, places to walk and reflect.  Views that lead you from one place to another.  Soft curves everywhere, nothing harsh or sharp.  Many different levels to hold your visual interest, beautifully tended flowers and plantings. Many places to sit - some in the sun, some in the shade, made from all sorts of materials at all different heights.   A selection of small  restaurants, from pizza to bakeries,  cool drinks to fine dining.  Drinking fountains set for adults, children, and dogs!

Bridges over the River Walk were part of the  vision

Fountains and the sounds of water everywhere

interesting rock benches

our lunch spot across the water

After lunch we walked up and out of the River Walk area and followed the sidewalks on some of the  surrounding streets.  Once again, everything was beautifully maintained and/or rennovated.  Flowers everywhere, brightly colored awnings shaded storefronts and smooth wide sidewalks.  No meters for parking, a gift from the city.

As we drove through this area the other day, I remarked that I'd love to stroll around and look in the shops and restaurants the next time we came through.  Today we had time to do just that, but were quite surprised, at first, to find that most of these beautiful little shops held used book stores, antique shops (think second hand shops) barber shops, small toy stores, etc.   Low rent kind of places.  We gradually realized that this city was trying very hard to revitalize their historic district and protect its beautiful buildings.  I don't know where the money came from to plan, build and maintain the lovely River Walk, or to rehab these old buildings.  I do know that we wouldn't have looked at them twice if they were empty storefronts, so I guess the "low rent" places serve to get people in the door, to help the city climb back up the ladder.

We enjoyed our time and left a little bit of our money there also.  Mission accomplished.

I think the "Phil" is quite the entrepreneur, don't you?
Can I get you a pint while I flush your radiator sir?

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive "vision" for an older city. It seems common for cities to house antique stores, most of them on consignment" book stores etc. You are correct in that they are getting people back to the city. When Dave and I do travel I always search to see if there is a "Brew Pub" in the city. There usually is and they take up several floors and sometimes several once vacant stores, with renovated areas to dine and enjoy. Many also have "beer Gardens" That gets folks in the mood to browse the shops and wander around the town, Greensboro NC is a great example. I am always happy to see cities cities coming back to life. Thanks for all the photos and background you are providing.