Thursday, September 4, 2008

I sing a song of State Street

Yesterday evening, finding myself without other plans, I decided to sling the ol' camera over my shoulder and take a stroll down our city's venerable pedestrian thoroughfare: State Street. Even without the students back in full force, which they most certainly are now, it's a place where you're pretty much guaranteed to see something of interest, and tonight did not disappoint.

I started at the top and found myself among a sea of people enjoying the free "Jazz at Five" concert series featuring the fantastic Jon Hendricks (and you if you don't know who that is, you owe it to yourself to follow that link and find out). Then, in perfect contrast, I discovered a group of SCA folk sword fighting down on the other end at Library Mall. Seriously, it doesn't get a lot more State Street than that.

I have to say, though, that the place is looking more and more scrubbed clean these days. I did manage to find a few lone examples of street art amongst the shiny new concrete and metal being installed. The cool rat stencil (below) graced a construction sign along where State meets Lake, but who knows how long that will last.

I'm a little bummed by how clean and pretty the city has been working to make the street appear. Granted, I've only been here since 2000 and the area has a much longer and more storied history than I've been witness to. Still, even I remember a more crunchy, colorful, oddball State Street. Things have changed a lot in recent years, and I'm not entirely sure I like the direction they're going in. I'm hoping that the lack of street art in the area, though, will be short-lived as the construction projects finish and students filter back in for the semester. In the meantime, the rat keeps watch.

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