Tuesday, May 8, 2012
A week of place
Last Wednesday was the first day of our local farmer’s market. It’s gotten to be an important place for the hundreds of people who come by. A hundred-some on a nice day in the summer anyway. This year’s opening day, like many days early in the season and even some later in the season, was not an ideal weather. The temps were in the 50s, which sounds pleasant enough, but the steady breeze made it feel much colder and the overcast skies meant no warming sunshine. Even with the weather, several customers stopped visited the dozen or so vendors who offered the variety of products that makes the market a unique place. It’s a place to renew acquaintances, talk politics and news of the town, share appreciation of the ingredients that make good meals. Thursday was the opening of what we hope becomes an important part of this place. Thanks to the efforts of the Building Healthier Communities Coalition and the rec trails group, we now have a “Downtown Lunch Loop,” an officially designated exercise route 0.9 miles around part of downtown, marked off in 0.1 mi increments. Here’s hoping people will take advantage of it and get up and moving for their health. A few trendsetters had been walking their own route in the morning and afternoon breaks, but I think that was to go get sugary drinks. The new ‘official’ route goes in the opposite direction. No temptations for sugary drinks along this path. Friday we went to a local fave restaurant/tavern for the fried whitefish. Always tastes great. Whitefish is another special aspect of this place and everyone has their favorite place to go our for fish dinner, ours is just down the road from where we live. Friday we got it as takeout and enjoyed our meal overlooking Whitefish Bay from the lighthouse. The freighter passing by added to the view. Sunday we worked pretty hard outside all day and it was all of the sudden it was dinner time. I suggested another local fave, our favorite burger shack. Didn’t take much convincing to end up there. Our town has two locally owned burger shacks, both on the river, one upstream from downtown, one downstream. As with the whitefish establishments, each place has its devotees. We happen to be partial to the upstream one. Many others are, too, as shown by the fact that on a nice weekend afternoon early in the season the wait can be up to an hour. (Both places are closed for the winter so there’s always a pent-up demand early in the season.) But no wait this time. We called our order in, took it to one of the downtown parks and enjoyed looking out over the river. The seaplane (a/k/a bush plane) landing on the river added to the view. Health note: Just so you know, we do eat healthy sometimes. Saturday dinner was a nice salad made with our lettuce. I like to think that with the physical work in the produce plots over the weekend, we burned at least a fraction of the calories from the fried fish and from the burger (OK I admit it and the onion rings). It’s all about moderation. And enjoying a nice meal in a nice place, not just mindlessly eating.