Downtown For The Day:
Manhattan Square Park



werd: james niche
foto: james niche

I've mentioned before that I spent much of my life downtown Rochester and am a big fan.

Manhattan Square Park was one of the things that I always enjoyed about downtown Rochester the most.

It's an abstract design of metal, earth, steel and water. The metal structure we all know above the water park is actually one of the strongest structures on earth that can hold over 100 times it's weight.







The park was a nice place to cool off with the waterfalls flowing at one point after it's opening in 1975, but quickly became confused for a wading pool and the water was shut off quickly after that.

The park has doubled as a concert venue all the way up until a few years ago when the party in the park was moved to High Falls.

The stage was at the foot of the old waterfalls and brought in thousands of attendees week after week in the summer, for free concerts.

At night, the place was light up and looked amazing under the Rochester skyline. The crowds were always friendly and music was always electric.

Amongst the rolling meadows at the south side of the park, is a children's playground which has been upgraded recently by the Strong Museum.






The playground looks one hundred times better now and has some really fun features that even I enjoy running around on. You should definitely go check it out now and have some fun.

Another edition has been the new and improved ice rink, which doubles as a fountain and reflecting pool at the base of The Manhattan Park apartments.

I was reluctant to give that idea a chance because all I envisioned was floating garbage in the pool all summer, but no. It was clean as a whistle and looked great as the fountains spew into the sky above you.








The park also has a rebuilt concession and skate rental office at the end of the rink as well.

Overall, I think with the work that has been done on the park in the past few years, along with the addition of the ESL headquarters, Rochester's business district is moving on up.

Even as I walked down to the park along Monroe Ave, west bound, I was in line with about fifteen other people walking right beside me heading downtown for whatever their business may be.

I have not seen that in years, it felt like there was some life back on the street. That's a good feeling.

I miss the days of going to shows at Manhattan Square Park and I propose to bring back the life in the park.

The nightlife has a definite place downtown and needs to be renewed.

As people have moved out of the city and into the suburbs, there has been a negative image portrayed of downtown and it's culture.

That's unfortunate.

People worry about safety, parking, costs and so on.

Well, we have a major headquarters building being built across the street that surely will have enough parking space built into it. We can utilize that space for parking at events and that could generate revenue right there, plus if the parking is underground people may be more inclined to park their car at night.

And, with the parking being underground, the city could tunnel under Chestnut St. to the park so that patrons could arrive into the park via the tunnel and not even have to worry about traffic on the street. Surely there would be a safety office in the garage and in the park, so it could be safe and effective.



At one point, there was even a restaurant there called Canopies. This was a student run restaurant, designed for culinary students at the E.O.C.(Educational Opportunity Center). This could be revamped and serve it's purpose once again.

It's a great way to get state funding for the project, seeing how it is an educational institution, and it's a great tax write-off for the school and city.

Think about. We could have our own outdoor entertainment complex right in out own front yard.

I could go on for days about my ideas for the park, but you get the idea.

It's good to see downtown coming back up, I'm loving it. Get out there and enjoy these precious little pieces of our city, Turn that suburban frown upside down.

Peace.

- Games




Right now we're listening to:

Ben Folds "Bitches Ain't Shit" ("Supersunnyspeedgraphic", 2006, Sony)


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