Editorial: Southwest North Dakota continues to change, makes big-city life seem not so bigWhen did Dickinson take on such Minneapolisesque? A lot has changed in Minneapolis in two years. The pace of the city that used to seem so frenzied was no big deal during recent trips there.
When did Dickinson take on such Minneapolisesque? A lot has changed in Minneapolis in two years. The pace of the city that used to seem so frenzied was no big deal during recent trips there.
Hotel clerks who spoke English as their first language waited on people who were staying for leisure or a short business trip, and at 11 p.m. the hotel, like the city, settled down for a night of slumber.
Retailers who once were standoffish are pleasant and downright helpful.
There is only some waiting at intersections to get through a couple of lights. (Though the main thoroughfare is still a different story.)
Restaurants, no matter the size or level of service, seem to have enough people to prepare and serve a meal in a timely manner. Has the city really changed that much or has Dickinson?
Though it would seem like a change of such magnitude in Dickinson would be a 50-year process, in some respects it seems to have happened overnight.
Dickinson doesn’t have nearly the music or arts scene, choice of cuisine or diversity of people as that city populated by 5 million-plus, but it cannot be expected of a city with less than 20,000 people.
Go to a Dickinson hotel at 3 a.m. and people who live there are in the lobby preparing to go to work — not the silent entryways you would expect.
Near these hotels are traveling food stands to keep up with hungry oil field employees.
On another food front, while two years ago patrons could walk into almost any Dickinson restaurant and sit down after a simple nod and eye contact with a restaurant employee, today there are waiting lists often followed by half-hour waits to be seated, and sometimes it’s anybody’s guess how long for service.
Depending on what time residents head out their doors for a drive across town, they often take the time to think about which route would be most efficient in an effort to avoid increased traffic. Sometimes those plans include leaving a little earlier for the same reason.
Police are keeping up with urgent reports, but because of the busyness, soon staff will be added and dedicated to parking issues.
How about the discussions over widening the existing Highway 22 two-lane in Dickinson from 29th Street north to a five-lane road. Five lanes in Dickinson!
People aren’t as likely to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. And walkers, don’t forget the trucks are much bigger than they used to be!
It’s not only western North Dakota seeing this shift in lifestyle, it seems to be seeping into Montana, with the recent announcement that Big Sky Country may have surpassed the million-person mark for the first time.
Frontiersman and ranch-roving cowboys would be amazed.
Publisher Harvey Brock and Editor Jennifer McBride are on The Dickinson Press Editorial Board.