Welland Snaps: Bench marks

Cool benches, top left,  overlook Cross Street, opposite the former county building. But my attention was diverted by these cala lilies enclosed in well groomed hedges on the manicured lawn. Check out the benches next time you are in the area! (Photos and file photos by Joe Barkovich)

Cool benches, top left, overlook Cross Street, opposite the former county building in beautiful downtown Welland. But my attention was diverted by these cala lilies enclosed in well groomed hedges on the manicured lawn. Check out the benches next time you are in the area! (Photos and file photos by Joe Barkovich)

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

A booming business is being done in benches, it seems.

Just this month, spiffy new benches were installed in the transit strip outside Niagara College’s main entrance.

I tried one out. Gosh, they’re comfy!

Some of the new benches that await transit users at the college.

Some of the new benches that await transit users at the college.

Maybe the others weren’t quite so.

Parks are great places to park benches. Trouble is, they’re not as well used as they could be.

Why is that? I think it may be the times we live in. People are more apt to be in a hurry these days than they are to sit down on a park bench and enjoy the view.

College student, comfortably parked  on this handsome bench, enjoys a read.

College student, comfortably parked on this handsome bench, enjoys a read.

I find benches enticing, which is why I sit down on them every now and then and watch the world go by. How relaxing is that!

No one around to sit on these benches.

No one around to sit on these benches.

But the more I think about it, the more I am inclined to think benches are largely ignored.

It seems most benches are almost always empty.

They are there for aesthetics more so than function.

Three benches await their next occupants.

Three benches await their next occupants.

But you and I know both know what would happen if a bench wasn’t in its place one day.

Sooner or later someone would say: “Why is there no bench here?. We need a bench on this street corner!”

Benches from yesteryear look well used. Or might they be weathered?

Benches from yesteryear look well used. Or might they be weathered?

So, even though many benches are not well used, try and go without them. I dare you. Sit and think about it for a while. On a bench, of course.

A nice spot to sit on a bench - and do your thinking. How rustic is this!

A nice spot to sit on a bench – and do your thinking. How rustic is this!

(A former reporter and city editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. Welland Snaps appears weekly on the blog.)

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