A long time ago, when the people didn't have the google or livejournals, parks were the thing, evidently. And rightfully so, as this was a time when we actually had to use our bodies to engage in any sort of meaningful way.
Just, you know, even walking somewhere, to get on a train, perhaps, and go have more fun in one day than you can possibly imagine in 2016.
Eisner Park sits between University and Church, just a couple of blocks east of Mattis. Initially, it was a privately owned and managed space until it was taken over by Champaign Park District. The 4.1 acres at what was then known as West End Park was a veritable playground for kids and adults back when it was created around the turn of the 19th century.
According to explorecu.org, the park "contained carnival rides, a roller coaster, a casino, refreshment booths, a shooting gallery, and a 600-person theater."
In addition, it was served by a railway that extended through Downtown Champaign, all the way to Crystal Lake Park in Urbana.
Basically, it was the park we'd all be at every goddamned day if it still stood the way it once was.
I actually love Eisner Park, and parks are something about which I am highly critical. The faux-grass tennis court, the old trees, and the playground make it one of my favorites in town.
But man oh man, what a world this would be if we could meet up at the casino for some table games after we'd spent the afternoon watching a matinee, and taking our children for rides on the coaster, or shooting some targets in the gallery.
Note to Park Districts: adults like to gamble and shoot guns. Let's do it!