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The Loft

by on 04/19/2005

One summer when I was a teen, a nightclub appeared just outside my hometown of New Castle, Pennsylvania. A dirt driveway led to what looked like an old barn. The area was dark, no signs marked its presence. I don’t even know how we found it. We climbed rickety wooden stairs to a second floor, filled with tables holding overflowing baskets of peanuts. We ate the peanuts and threw the shells on the floor. It was exhilarating! There was music. Whether or not there was a band I don’t remember, but I do remember dancing. As suddenly as it appeared, the club was gone.

That was the most memorable summer I ever had (aside from the summer I worked at a tobacco pickers’ camp, but you don’t want to hear about that). I don’t remember anyone drinking, and though we were energetic, loud and lively, we were reasonably well-behaved teenagers.

I wish Edmonds had a place like that for my teenage daughter. Not just for a summer, but for every summer, spring, fall and winter until she goes off to college. It’s too late for my son who’ll be gone by September. And I’d like it to be in downtown Edmonds, easy to find, easy for young people to get to, with or without cars.

On a younger note: With the help of the little kids in my neighborhood, I’m making a children’s play area in my yard. It has a table and two kid-sized chairs, a children’s park bench (Bartell’s Drugstore, $24.99, some assembly required) a bucket, a trowel and two half whiskey barrels that will be filled with soil and plants. I’m hoping that, with a little encouragement, the children will make the area their own by adding stuff my middle-aged brain would never think of. This is a token offering from someone who, as a child, had a huge woods with a creek running through as my own personal playground.

What do the teen club and the play area have in common? They are both places for young people to have fun.

The Edmonds City Council is in the process of envisioning the future of Edmonds. I would like that vision to include the needs of children and adolescents. Along with the condominiums and retail space that are being discussed (and the height limits of those buildings), I would like public spaces to include trees and flowers; spaces to play, entertain and be entertained; and places to eat reasonably-priced food and enjoy each other’s company. I would like to see Edmonds draw the young as well as the old, young families as well as middle-aged and older couples. I would like Edmonds to offer a range of goods, services, housing, entertainment, and transportation so that an eclectic group of people will be drawn here to live, work, and play.

This is a sampling of my vision for Edmonds.

From → Edmonds

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