There are countless people in Evansville that are truly amazing photographers. Also, there are even more people that take snap shots at virtually every other step, which tell a tale and help create an archive of the way things were. Evansville is changing very quickly and without places like Flickr to share our memories of this fine city, it would be easy to forget where we came from.
One example is our River Front, which has undergone countless changes, updates, and improvements. Main Street is another that has seen updates over the years and a down town skyline that is changing daily. Although just a short time ago, do you even remember what was in the location, where the new stadium is being built?
Various social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr make archiving ideas and images much easier than before. I'm excited to be living in such a fast changing world, as long as I can slow down and look at the pictures later.
I haven't had an opportunity to get down and take any pictures of the Evansville Arena yet, but someone has uploaded 8 images of the construction from January. It's amazing how fast these people really work and the undertaking that must be done to build such a structure. Whether you disagree with the development or not, it's truly a sight to behold.
Below are photos of construction of the Evansville Arena from January. These photos were uploaded to the Picasa web album by a user named evansvillearena. There are some other great photos of the blue prints for the new downtown Arena, along with before images of what the location looked like before the bulldozers moved in.
Why do you think downtown, in regards to Evansville, is such a bad word? Anyone you talk to has an opinion and generally it creates a heated discussion on what can, should, and shouldn't be done. This type of argument generally doesn't happen in comparative sized cities, so what gives?
Is it possible that downtown Evansville has been created without the consent of those that matters, the residents of Evansville? Consider that some projects downtown have faced tough opposition, no matter the out come for as long as I can remember. Casino Aztar was the first big change that happened downtown in my life time, at least that had any significance. In 1995 it was met with lots of promises, a fixed budget, and controversy through it's first year. Most notably it failed to hire the promised 90% of employees from Vanderburgh County.
Events have become a topic amongst those arguing over downtown as well, specifically over pricing. Thunder On The Ohio is an annual even that continues to plummet in popularity and face scrutiny by residents. The 2009 Freedom Festival was no exception and faced opposition from loyal visitors every year, claiming the event was turning into a money grab. At $20 per person to get in it's easy to see why.
Compare the Evansville Freedom Festival to similar events in our Tri-State area like the Owensboro BBQ Fest, Blue Grass in The Park in Henderson, it just doesn't add up...at least for paying residents. Why can't we make our events work for the community, instead of be a money making endeavor? If we're going to run it as a cash cow why not just privatize the entire area, much like Louisville has with Fourth Street Live?
Personally I'm sick and tired of watching all the tax payer dollars to go research firms that yield no results. How about we stop starting projects where we aren't able to financially support them to completion. Lastly, can we just slow down and not rush through agendas before the end of our term, I'm looking at you Mayor. I'm fed up with a very select few not listening to their constituents and making sweeping changes that will force tax payer money to another failing downtown change.
Instead, lets start listening to other cities that have had wild success with creating a downtown where people want to go. That is unless revitalizing doesn't mean what I think it does and instead our city leaders are more focused on putting money in their own pockets and padding those of their friends.