THE ELEGANCE OF LAKE GENEVA
The Tour de France, the world-famous bicycle race, is going on right now. France is a long way from Lake Geneva, and quite possibly much further away in cultural development. The movie, television and video cameras set up along the course show this very long race wending its way through village after village and town after town of wonderfully idyllic and gorgeous buildings, churches, castles, natural landmarks, and just about everything else. There is not one town or village that looks at all like the entrance to Lake Geneva on its east side, or its north side or even coming in from Highway H or along Edwards Boulevard or Wells.
How is it that elegance was lost as Lake Geneva got bigger? At the city council meeting on Monday night, once again, the parking ordinance (as re-written by Dan Draper, city attorney) was presented for its second reading and likely assured passage, if a vote had been taken early on before public discussion was allowed. How could the city, as represented by a council and mayor of significant intellect and life experience, consider putting in a giant ugly tanker truck to greet the arriving public during summer who might choose to come into Lake Geneva on its south approach? How could it choose to allow a tanker, for the refueling of boats and God knows what else, to be posted at the bottom of a hill wherein that bottom curve is one of ninety degrees? A car or truck loses control and doesn’t negotiate the turn, or slides halfway through the turn…and what’s to stop it? Currently, in such a predicament, the vehicle would plunge over a curb, across a sidewalk, down a small berm, and then enter the lake in water between one and four feet in depth. With the tanker there, blocking that part of Wrigley Drive, the gas tanker would become the ‘stopper,’ so to speak. The double yellow lines in the center of Wrigley, at that point, are worn off and have to be repainted all the time. They are worn off because people constantly miss the curve and correct, just in time, but still have the potential not to catch themselves in time.
Dan Draper came into the meeting from his distant perch on Zoom to save the day for the Marina that wants the tanker spot. He stood straight-faced and told the assembled council that he would like the decision on parking deferred on into the future because of confidential information he’d uncovered but could not divulge at a public meeting. Yes, these are indeed the times when a ridiculous explanation like that actually works! Mr. Draper heard exactly how the public ‘weighed in’ and how the vote was likely going to go, so he made sure the can be kicked down the road.
Many members of the public, including the entire staff of the Geneva Shore Report, are going to endure this kind of performance, and result, but not let down or back down one bit in preventing another bit of complete low-class taste to further damage the elegance of this wonderful city. Lake Geneva can continue to be what it is, and even get better at being what it is, but only if a good number of citizens will stand up and say no to such crummy ideas and projects while saying yes to those that really are classy and add to the city’s elegance.
Such backing was given to Barrique, the former wine bar and small restaurant located near where Wrigley curves up to become Cook Street. Barrique was approved for a full Class A liquor license, as it should have been. That place is classy to the hilt and as elegant as any establishment located along the route of the Tour de France.