Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Madison Park Beach 'unsuitable for children' ?

Earlier this summer we learned that our beach was being touted on one national website as a great place to discover "sugary eye candy." That followed upon an earlier national story that promoted the beach as the perfect place for a "gaycation." And just recently our little stretch of sand was nominated by readers of the Huffington Post website as one of the best city beaches in the country.

So with all of that going for us, it comes as a bit of a shock to learn that a well-known local publication is reporting Madison Park's beach as unfit for human consumption. Or, at minimum, that's the opinion of Dan Savage, the editorial director of the alternative newspaper The Stranger. In a posting yesterday on the paper's blog, Slog, the curmudgeonly Savage claims that Madison Park Beach is so "tiny" and "practically enclosed" that smoking should be banned there.

Here's the full indictment: "The smoke wafting around Madison Park on a nice day makes the park--always packed--pretty much uninhabitable for non-smokers and unsuitable for children. Sitting in Madison Park on a sunny day is like sitting in Linda's in 1997. You leave the park--you leave the beach--with your clothes stinking of smoke."

I'm just guessing here, but I suspect that Linda's (a tavern on Capitol Hill) was pretty smoke filled in 1997. Beyond that, however, is there anything in this hyperbolic outburst that makes sense to our regular beach goers? Judging by the photo used to illustrate Savage's posting, the inherent dangers of our beach are certainly not self evident: nary a smoker (nor a waft of smoke) to be seen.


  1. Odd. Seems like Dan must have had a bad day. I've been swimming regularly all summer, and I thoroughly disapprove of second hand smoke and am one of those hyper-sensitive folks who'd leave once they sniff only a trace amount. Not so much, ever.

    Also, notice how Madison park is, you know, sort of outdoors? That usually provides ample ventilation... just saying.

  2. Yay! We can keep the beach for the locals.

  3. I'll bet those smokers are the same people who park in front of our houses and push down the fence at kids park. I think the Community Council should promote Madison Park Beach as a "smokers beach", maybe that will lower it's attendance and it's popularity with the alternative and the national media. Supporting bikini clad "sugary eye candy" now I'm all for that! Solution to beach density: it's called NEIGHBORHOOD PERMIT PARKING which limits non-neighborhood parking to one or two hours without a permit which is only issued to residents of a particular area. Madison Parkers who live within a few block of Madison Street may support such an initiative but it would affect some businesses with their all-day employees.

  4. Check your links, they all go to the wrong place.


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