As someone from the “Island of Many Hills” — a rough English translation of the Lenape word “Mannahatta,” I tend from time to time to “go off the reservation.”
This is one of those times.
I love Kerrville. Except for about now.
It is 95 degrees warm as I write. And the only shady spot to sit except for inside PAX, where I rented a table for 3-1/2 hours for a delicious coffee and a deliciouser roast beef sandwich (with roasted red peppers, jack cheese, and honey dijon mustard — alas no horse radish — is on a metal bench next to the ATM in front of the Schreiner Building facing Earl Garrett.
I left PAX and walked past the comfortable diners under umbrellas at Franciscos. On Friday they’ll be having the restaurant’s famous chiles rellenos. Today they’re enjoying something else good. But that was not my mission.
My mission was to walk over to the Daughtry Pavillion overlooking the Guadalupe River. The beautiful Guadalupe River. The bountiful, the accessible, the sometimes floodable, but always enjoyable Guadalupe. I wanted to see that Guadalupe from on high. Maybe do a phone call from a bench overlooking that Guadalupe.
Not sure why, so I Facebook Messengered City Hall. They’re usually good about replying pretty quickly.
So I walked along Water Street, recalling fondly many times sitting at the benches looking out at the street. Well, construction at the Arcadia closed some of the way. No problem (so far). Then I noticed that shop after shop had moved or closed. The only thing open (maybe?) was Humble Fork. And only one, and dusty, bench looking out at a guy moving sheetrock with a forklift from one pile to a second.
OK. Time to get resourceful.
(It was at this time, Dear Reader, that I’d decided to go off the reservation.)
To walk through the Schreiner Building and kick up some dust of my own. A forklift might come in handy.
It was no surprise to me that inside the Schreiner Building — inside the COOL, air-conditioned — did I mention “COOL”? — building, there is copious space. Doing. Absolutely. Nothing. Except being walked on and through and waiting to be rented. Exhibit A (see photos).
After snapping said photos and feeling oh-so-righteous, I found the one bench I knew of in the shade, the one I’m sitting on now and which has a perfect view of PAX and the air-conditioned interior I enjoyed not 15 minutes ago. (Maybe it was more like 30 minutes… I’ve stewed in my juices for half the time since leaving.)
So my recommendation is this: City / Downtown Kerrville / Merchants. Derive a way to use either interior space or sidewalk space in the shade where pedestrians can sit and think positive thoughts about being downtown when it’s in the mid-90s. Because if y’all don’t, we’ll just get in our cars and make traffic on I-10 and not along Earl Garrett and Water Streets.