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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


Just Like Paris

January 14, 2010 1:32 PM

There are complaints that the city isn't fun anymore. Smoking isn't allowed in the bars. Tavern owners need a special license to allow dancing. Establishments must close at 2am, and the metro service doesn't run that late anyway. Worst of all, new residents of gentrifying neighborhoods are complaining about all the street noise that comes from the city's famed nightlife.

Madison, Wisconsin, USA? Nope. Paris, France. You can read about it in this week's article from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/world/europe/11paris.html?scp=1&sq=paris%20quiet%20neighborhoods&st=cse

To quote from the story, "The neighbors have been known to pelt the (bar) patrons with eggs and to dump water on their heads from balconies. One man once attacked the revelers below his window with a garden hose."

Well, it hasn't come to that in our fair city. And, in fact, we've been working hard for years to try to balance an exciting downtown nightlife with the expectations of the new urban pioneers who have set up housekeeping in the condominiums and single family homes in those neighborhoods. It's not likely to ever be a perfect balance, but a good city should want both. The downtown should be both a place where people come to socialize, have fun and share ideas as well as a place to call home. A downtown with equal parts excitement and stability is the thing to strive for.



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