There are a group of people, both inside and outside of our fair city of Woodbury, who seem to believe that this community is “Edina East.”
Really, if you look at the demographics, it’s not really that close. We’re more like “Maple Grove East” (or are they “Woodbury West?”). Now, don’t look down your monacle at me and send your butler out to knee-cap me with your polo mallet, this is strictly by the numbers here, folks.
If you really want to find Edina East, it would be a place like Dellwood or North Oaks…but the residents of those communities would see that designation as a downgrade of their financial status.
Still, this has not stopped many from having pretentions or aspirations of someday becoming the eastern cake-eating champions. I was once a planner in a community that billed itself as “The Fastest Growing Community in Missouri,” so I guess I should be used to this sort of thing.
But it all led me to ponder… what does Woodbury need not only to put itself on par with, but exceed Edina. Well, we can’t compete with them in terms of “old money.” We’re behind in state hockey championships. We’re about $30,000 behind in terms of average family income. We lack a historic indoor shopping mall like Southdale.
So, what DO we need?
What will put us in that exalted plateau? Will it be more sit-down restaurants? Frozen yogurt? Mattress stores? How about an auto parts store? Booze at Bielenberg? The mall era is seemingly going through its death throes, so we’ll let Edina deal with the uncertain future of where one goes to get gigantic pretzels and guzzle liters upon liters of Orange Julius.
In my mind, the first step toward greatness is miniature golf.
Not the Astroturf over plywood indoor variety. That’s fine for your second- or third-tier communities, or as a fundraiser in an open space in a shopping center, but, my friends, that is not what defines elite. We’re talking real water hazards, real grass, real dirt, course marshals, maybe even cart rentals.
We’re not thinking of a skimpy 18 holes, either. No sir. 18 holes of the traditional putt-it-through-the-windmill obstacle-type course PLUS 18 holes of the undulating terrain with geometry requiring the valedictorian of the Math and Science Academy to act as your caddy.
You may be asking yourself, “How does this increase the prestige of Woodbury?” Well, truthfully, I’m not sure that it does, but:
1.) I’ve always wanted a really cool miniature golf course within cycling distance, and;
2.) It would be a great replacement for a certain hotel chain whose name has graced many a Patch page.
Second step: Put up a wall and turn Woodbury into a completely gated community.
Most of the retail is concentrated in a quadrant of town, so I suppose that you could leave that part open for the folks who only have cake on birthdays, anniversaries, and Arbor Day. Clearly there’s no need to prevent them from enriching our merchants.
But the rest, let’s lock it down behind walls. You’d get a little radio transmitter that you would place within your vehicle that your chauffeur or other servant would press to unlock the gate.
The rest? Well, they’d have to be buzzed in and met after the police had completed a thorough background check, along with a medical check, and a satisfactory credit check. To enter, they would have to also pay a substantial deposit, much of which might be refunded if they leave without incident. The older the vehicle driven to the gate, the greater the deposit…unless, of course, it is deemed to be a mint-condition collector vehicle of a luxury variety.
The final step toward not just local, but interstellar greatness is a backronym. Not insulting ones like Iowa’s “Idiots Out Walking Around,” or cutesy ones like Ohio’s “Our Home Is Ohio,” but one that really seems to fit. Edina has “Every Day I Need Attention.” Some might say that’s insulting, but, it’s one that has been embraced by not only the metro community, but some Edinans as well.
Here’s my first backronym attempt:
Okay, so it needs some work. But that’s why I’m putting this forward. I’m depending on you, good Woodburians, to embrace these concepts and push them forward (well, at least the miniature golf one). We can become the envy of not only the entire world, but all intergalactic space.
That’s the (thoroughly tongue-in-cheek) view from the old, steel drafting table.