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JUNE 8, 2008   

At the beach

Despite the 90+ degree temperature and strong breeze I did my usual 4.6 mile run/walk at Edgewater this afternoon. The park was crowded, reminding me of a beach we visited when we were in Helsinki last summer. It was about a ten minute walk from the hostel we stayed at, and was jam-packed with people, mostly just laying out on the sand. Very different from today at Edgewater when lots of folks were in the water trying to escape the heat.

Beach in Helsinki, Finland with bottle of Koff Indian Cord Beer in foregroundAnother difference in Finland—besides the cheesy 80s disco music that was playing on the PA system—was that alcohol was permitted in the park. I tried Koff Indian "corn beer" that I bought at a gas station convenience store. The label was very American—the beer, pretty nondescript.

Although I enjoyed drinking my beer on the beach in Finland, I'm very happy that our parks have a no alcohol policy. The crowd at Edgewater is extremely diverse—ethnically, racially, economically. I'm constantly amazed at how well people get along, something that would not be helped by alcohol, and I'm pretty sure it would be made worse.

I'm not sure whether it's the effect of $4/gallon gas or just a coincidence, but I noticed more groups of people walking or biking to Edgewater. The parking lot was crowded but not full. Not a big improvement, but a step in the right direction.

More about Finland

From last year's visit: (Aug. 4) Churches, food, music; (Aug. 5) City market, flight to London.

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