The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 16, 2013

Krohn: Area has a good start on urban must-haves


But, to not be under water every few years, we have a concrete flood wall that makes the main natural water feature a bit less natural — or enjoyable.

We’ve made it better with a bike/walking path inside the wall and the new Riverfront Park where people can enjoy the river.

Still, for a river town, we could do better. A good river overlook for starters. Some fountains would be nice. Maybe a small, re-created stream wending through part of downtown, emptying into the river?  

Children in public squares

This is, of course, the safety issue. We got this one down cold. Kids can romp anywhere they want here without any real fear — other than the fear conjured in helicopter parents’ minds.

Other than domestic abuse and date rape, which is no worse here than anywhere, 90 percent of the people who get beat up, robbed or otherwise harmed in Mankato are: A) drunk, B) out somewhere way too late where they should know better than to be, C) up to something illegal themselves, or, all of the above.

Spectacular examples of shopping tradition

Not sure about this one. We have a nice mall, plenty of stores to go to, some nice independent shops, but “spectacular” isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind. The last great shopping spectacle was Brett’s Department Store.

Classy blokes in front of classy places

Wolfe suggests allowing open-air seating areas in front of bars and restaurants, where having a drink is allowed, provides “ambiance and interface with daily life.”

Mankato has more of this than in the past and Wolfe is right, it adds a communal atmosphere when people drink and dine outside — even if all the blokes aren’t classy. 

Commercial porches, with color and vantage points to the street

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