Sandwich kiosk at Central Park entrance

So there was a lot of discussion here last week about the wisdom of adding commercial development in and around White Rock Lake, and some of the comments had to do with whether restaurants and shops built at the lake could, or should, be reminiscent of development in New York City’s Central Park.

Both are urban parks, both are gathering places for an entire city, and both are largely non-commercial. Still, if you compare Central Park — with its various restaurants and shops, both on the fringe of the park and inside — with the current lack of anything commercial at White Rock Lake, Central Park looks like a veritable NorthPark in comparison.

Maybe this is a good thing, maybe it’s not: Clearly from following the blog discussion, our thoughts are split on the idea. So I thought it would be useful to look at some pictures of Central Park development and try to imagine how these projects might look here at White Rock Lake. I called former DMNer Steve Kenny, my one-time Northwestern University roommate who now works for the New York Times, and asked him to send me some photos with his new iPhone from Central Park.

Today was both an off-day for Kenny and, judging from the photos, a beautiful day in New York, so my inbox was filled with photos.

Take a look at these Central Park shops, then close your eyes and imagine something like them at White Rock Lake. Then open your eyes and start typing your thoughts here.


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