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.