The 2018 Road, Day 28: Falls Park Afternoon

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June 22, 2018, Greenville, SC-

I spent several days here, in and around this small, but bustling, commercial hub of western South Carolina, in late February and early March, 1987.  One of my brothers and his family lived near here then.  I can recall the Museum of Christian Art, at Bob Jones University, and Falls Park on the Reedy, as highlights of that visit.

My journey today, led me back to Falls Park, to meet an old friend from Xanga days. K is a military veteran, whose son is currently serving as well.  She lives in a city not far from Greenville, and so agreed to meet for lunch and a walk around the park.  It took several minutes for us to find one another, with confusion on my part, as to what she meant by the “park entrance”.  There are actually three, so I went to the one closest to the West End Historic District, where she found me.  We enjoyed a fine lunch at Smoke On The Water, overlooking the Reedy River, and swapped Xanga tales.  Then, it was time to revisit the park, in earnest.

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There are multiple places for people to cool off, in the running water.  This fountain, on the grounds of River Place, drew several families, as the day was heating up.

This footbridge leads into Falls Park, from the north.

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Here is a view of West End, which has been revitalized since I was here last.

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We enjoyed this, and other, views of the Falls, from Liberty Bridge.

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With many people taking one another’s photos, including us, K and I were glad to be in this one selfie.

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That led to another shot of the Falls.

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The flowers at Falls Park were not at their peak, but diligent care has kept the gardens well-balanced and adorning the grounds.

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The lower park, closer to the water, is always among my favourite parts of a river walk.

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Nature offers some strange scenes, of suffering and resilience.  Looking at the trunk of this tree, from this vantage point, I can almost discern a face.

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We continued to head back to the park entrance, as K had to avoid afternoon traffic.  Above the falls, the river offers as much beauty, as below.

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These cataracts, close to Liberty Bridge, help control the flow of water, in times of flooding.

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Ten Artispheres, by John Acorn, commemorated the tenth anniversary of Greenville’s Artishphere Festival, in 2014.

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After K left, I spent some time along the river, close to the place where I had parked.  Ducks and geese were more plentiful, in the serenity of upriver.

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This view of downtown shows the variety of architectural styles is present, even in a smaller city.

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Near an overpass, I spotted the testimony of the timeless.

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These geese were also glad to find the shade of the bridge’s underpinnings.

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The Peace Center Amphitheater and Wyche Pavilion was empty, this afternoon, but is sometimes used for weddings and other special events.

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Greenville has polished itself a fair amount, in thirty one years, and like many former textile centers, has used the rivers which once generated their mills to generate a thriving economy, based on tourism and other outdoor-based enterprises.

NEXT:  Camping in the Rain and Two Saturday Markets

 

The Road to 65, Mile 180: Two Gardens, Two Riverwalks- Part 2

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May 27, 2015, Reno- The atmosphere in downtown Reno, and along the Riverwalk, is changing.  The gentry have arrived, thanks to banks and high mortgages, leading to higher rents, leading to artisans moving out.  Gentrification here, as in so many other places, means condos, retro plastic furniture and limits on public parking.  At least near the Riverwalk, that limit is two hours, free.

A friend referred to Reno as being on the edge between mountains and desert.  Indeed, this is the case.  I have felt myself being on several edges, simultaneously, this week.  It’s not an uncomfortable feeling, mind you, but one which rewards alacrity.  Let’s see:  Cold has been followed by heat; rain, by bright sunshine; near-collapse of personal transport, by active efforts at repair of same.

This brings me back to the Riverwalk.  Several cities have emulated Le Promenade de la Seine, with San Antonio and Sacramento being the most prominent, here in North America.  Reno’s Riverwalk takes in the banks of the Truckee.  There are cataracts, narrow sluices and old stone bridges on which to focus.  The water is turgid, brown, and, at present, shallow.  Kayaks have run aground here, this year.  As I said, earlier, so have a few iconic artisan shops. Dreamer’s, where we eventually enjoyed iced beverages, has moved further downtown, into Reno Center.  Another, once comfortable, gathering spot has replaced a detailed mural with one that is more generic, and its big comfy chairs have given way to small, pea-green plastic seats, that remind me of the East Coast in the early Seventies.

Nonetheless, a Riverwalk is a Riverwalk, and there are places worthy of seeing here.

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This is an eastward view of the Truckee.  The old bridge is due to be torn down and replaced, soon.

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Cataracts lead to swimmers jumping in the deeper spots, during Reno’s July Arts Festival.

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This bridge, in mid-Riverwalk, seems to be the most popular crossing.

The oldest church in Reno, First United Mehtodist, dating from the 1860’s, lies north of the river.

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We moved towards downtown, after a quick walking survey of shops revealed trends which disappointed my host, a long-time resident.

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Outwardly, Reno has changed little, since I was first here, in 1980.

We found the new Dreamer’s Coffee House, and enjoyed iced lattes.

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I know, I need to engage my zoom lens- and I have, since- just not here.

Whilst gazing upon the Truckee, my thoughts went back to La Seine, and to the Riverwalk of San Antonio.  The last has endured some bumps, over the past five days, with its river rising and falling- and possibly rising again this coming weekend.  My heart is with San Antonio and its sister communities, across the land of the Lone Star.

In the end, though, there is this truism:

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I have my good points, as a man, but coffee- Yes, it brings us all up to speed.