Within the past few months three UP communities– Negaunee, Manistique, and Marquette– have established “Social Districts.”
These are areas where you can buy an adult beverage in a bar or a restaurant and take it outside with you, to enjoy while you’re checking out everything else that lies within the district.
I personally think social districts are a cool idea; if nothing else, it’s another way to get out and enjoy the eight actual nice summer days we get here in the U.P.
I do realize, though, there are concerns about the social districts, that they might lead to an increase in drunken shenanigans. But I have to tell you something–drunken shenanigans are already here, with or without the districts.
If you’ve ever been in downtown Houghton or downtown Marquette after midnight on any night, you know what I’m talking about.
And it’s not a new phenomenon. Here are two stories, both of which just happen to be from Marquette but could have taken place anywhere in the U.P.
The first is a police report from 1908, listing everyone who was arrested one night. For what were they arrested? Well, and I’m quoting here…
Drunk, Drunk, Drunkard, Drunkard, Drunk, Drunk, Disorderly, Disorderly, Drunk, Drunk, Drunk, Drunk, and… Drunk.
And then there’s the tale from the early ’70s, in which two young men were drinking and instead of taking a beverage outside with them took a bowling ball instead. They made it up to the top of the Front Street hill, put the bowling ball down on the street, and then let gravity take over. Depending upon who told the story the ball either ended up in the middle of train tracks, crashing through a store window, or hopping into the open door of a waiting police car.
If you’re worried about social districts increasing drunken shenanigans in U.P. communities, I don’t know if the shenanigans could actually get any more drunken than that.
So if your town has a social district, check it out. Get together with your friends, and make the most of our eight nice days of summer.
But maybe– just maybe– think about leaving the bowling ball behind.
I’m Jim Koski, and that’s another slice of Life in the 906.