Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lakefront Bliss



The photo shows the view from Lakeside Roastery through the grove of plane trees on Columbia's Lakefront. I'm so lucky to have this in short walking distance from my house. Most Saturday mornings or afternoons will find me visiting Lakeside Roastery (aka Lakeside Cafe) or sometimes one of the other Lakefront restaurants nearby to have breakfast or lunch before I continue with any plans for the day. I've been a fan of Lakeside's coffee and sandwiches ever since they opened (formerly, the place was part of the local Riverside Roastery chain), and recently I discovered proprietor Mike's terrific salads.

Try this, if you have not noticed this view before: While the trees are bare this time of year, as you drive south on Route 29 after the 175 overpass, keep looking to your right until you see the Lake. Through the trees, you get a great panorama of our Lakefront that might stir some local pride in you. It does so in me! This view is a great one both in daylight and at night when all the Lakefront lamps are glowing.

Plane trees, or London plane trees: They line my street, too, and are common in urban and suburban landscapes. They are a cross between the American sycamore and an Old World sycamore species, combining traits of both to make a hardy tree for city conditions. If you're on the Lakefront, you can see the top white limbs of a real American sycamore towering on the other side of the Lake.

Addendum: Sitting in Clyde's for dinner on Sunday, I realized that there are lots of sycamores across the Lake. The towering specimen I mention here stands further up the lake across from the area of the Sheraton.

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While I'm enjoying this, it's time to make a donation to the Red Cross.

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