Took Parker to the Olympia waterfront today to see all the boats. He had a great time. It’s an amazing place to visit if you’ve never been there. A nice boardwalk takes you from downtown Olympia all the way up the marina to the port.
First we spent some time at the playground, which is both fun and anxiety-inducing at the same time. The park was populated with families, vagrants and drug-addled weirdos, and I certainly didn’t feel like I could take my eye off Parker even for a second. Eventually, the paranoia got to me and we left the playground and headed up the boardwalk. That’s Olympia for you.
Lots of dogs and couples strolling the boardwalk on this beautiful day, but about every fourth encounter was a dangerous-looking individual. And without any police presence to speak of, one does get a sense that the balance of safety on the waterfront is precarious at best. If one of the weirdos were to grab a kid and run off, I seriously doubt there’s anything anyone could do about it.
It makes me wish that such a beautiful area like the southern tip of the Puget Sound had a benefactor or investment group that could clean up and redevelop the marina district. I’ve often said that when I win that $250 million in the Powerball drawing, I’m going to buy up as much property as I can in downtown Olympia and make it a better place to live, work and shop.
There are too many empty lots and abandoned buildings in the marina district. They should be developed into multi-use facilities like storefronts and restaurants on the bottom two floors, with condos overlooking the waterfront above them. Henderson, Nevada, has an area known as The District which would work wonderfully in downtown Olympia.
Downtown Olympia could also benefit from removing the street parking so busses and semi-trucks could pass through without taking up two lanes. Doing so would require a few multi-story parking garages. Once the place is renovated and reputable anchor tenants are brought in, an increase in police presence would ensure the seedy loiterers were kept to a minimum, probably around coffee shops, internet cafes and the bus depot.
Olympia has some beautiful scenery if you can rise above the fray and see it for its natural wonder. Perhaps by the time Parker is older, the wrinkles in this city will have been ironed out.