||[Jun. 23rd, 2003|04:12 pm]
Summer weather has finally arrived. The sun is shining and it’s hot out. And now more than ever I miss Fairbanks, Alaska.
It’s not because the temperatures are too high. It’s because Fairbanks had the best deck dining I have ever come across. The Chena River runs through town, bisecting the city as it meanders slowly along. To the east of town, on either side of the river, two restaurants have large dining decks. The Pumphouse is a converted mining building, with all that old-fashioned charm. Pike’s Landing went from being a skeezy little bar to a large and beautiful restaurant when it changed owners about a dozen years ago.
Now, we aren’t talking a narrow balcony where people can have a drink, we are talking working decks where people pull up their boats to the docks and climb up to have dinner. Broad, sunny spaces with lots of seating. You can have a drink, or a whole meal.
And the Pumphouse has the advantage of being on the excellent bike path system that webs the town. One of our favorite summer evening activities when we lived there was to bike the 12 miles out to the Pumphouse, arriving in time for Happy Hour. At Happy Hour the drinks weren’t any cheaper, but there were huge fruit and veggie trays, and if you bought a drink you got a ticket for the hot entre – ribs, chicken wings, etc. For the price of our drinks, we were able to eat enough to count as dinner. Then we would ride home.
I would love to bike to someplace for dinner tonight. It’s a gorgeous evening, though, and just going somewhere to sit inside doesn’t cut it. Cleveland has plenty of streams and rivers, but unless you go down to The Flats, no real deck dining. And that’s way too far to bike.
Bummer. Opportunity missed.