Erie needs St. Patrick’s Day crowds on regular basis

Someone reflecting on Erie this past Saturday might comment on the mixture of litter and puke on the ground, or might have something to say about the naked woman dragged out of Crackdonald’s.

But a person whose metaphorical glass is half-full wouldn’t necessarily go there, and not just because their literal glass of green beer was always half-empty that day.

Sure the rabid crowds came with some damage, but at least there were joyous people in downtown Erie. State Street has improved in recent years, but it’s still not drawing the attention it could, given its convenient location to Gannon.

I don’t totally blame Erie for this. State Street – and its surrounding locations – could be improved with more businesses that lend themselves to dining and relaxing, and more trees and park benches to make it a more ideal place to be. But Gannon students need to take advantage of the opportunities that are already there so more businesses will be encouraged to set up shop in downtown Erie. And I’m not just talking about going to bars at night.

We should be taking more advantage of restaurants like Under the Clock. Even Starbucks – evil, monopolizing coffee chain that it is – draws people to downtown Erie. So when you pick up your overpriced Frappuccino, you are helping bring more life to downtown Erie.

Of course, it’s even better to check out the One Green World Café. Gannon has plenty of flaws, and Erie doesn’t provide all the perks of a big city, but that’s why it’s important to take advantage of places like One Green World that offer a slice of big city life.

I didn’t go very often last semester, but I’ve been trying to go more this semester.

On Saturday people sat on the steps of the Erie Art Museum, which was kind of cool. I’m not sure the art house people liked it, but it reminded me of big cities, where I’ve seen people eat their lunch on museum steps.

On St. Patrick’s Day my friend and I sat down in this little park area near Scully’s Pub. An old guy sat down on a bench across from us, and we started talking about the nice weather. He told us how the area had been built up more nicely in recent years. I looked around, and it’s like I noticed it for the first time. It looked like a great little area to enjoy nice weather, and read or hang out with friends. If I spent more time getting off campus, I may have found this place before.

With around 4,000 undergraduates at Gannon, there’s no reason more days can’t be lively like St. Patrick’s Day – maybe without the trash.

 

TESSY PAWLOWSKI

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