Creating a Manhattan bucket list

By Javier Gonzalez

There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, especially when you are a procrastinator like me. Why do something today when you can do it tomorrow?

So, here I am near the end of my three-year tenure at the Mercury. I have met some wonderful people and have gladly taken in the local flavor.

Manhattan may be small compared to my hometown of Dallas, but there is lots to do and see. The procrastinator in me, however, always thought there would be enough time to do it tomorrow. And now, I am running out of tomorrows.

So, I have come up with my Top 10 Manhattan Bucket List of things I need to do before I leave at the end of the month.

First on the list is a visit to the Flint Hills Discovery Center. I realize it has been open less than a month, but it has been much anticipated since before I got here.

I also need to visit the Beach Museum of Art. I’ve been told it is a must-see. Even my 8-year-old son has been to it three times on school field trips. I live just blocks from the museum, but I’ve just been guilty of putting it off.

One place my waistline wishes I’d visit less often is the Li’l Grill, but I have to stop by for one last plate of jerk chicken and a large rum punch. Just one.

But before I eat my chicken and drink my punch, I need to make myself feel less guilty by going for one last run at Anneberg Park. My family has fond memories of the park. My son played soccer there, and I also played — or tried to play — golf there.

Or I could also walk part of the Linear Trail. I see the signs all over town, and have always wanted to walk it even for just part of the way. But again, I always thought I would have more time.

I also thought I would have more time to hike along the Konza Prairie. What a blessing to have such natural beauty in your own backyard. I wanted to wait for my youngest son to get a little older, so he could appreciate it. What a shame that I have less than two weeks to do it in.

I have always admired the men and women in the armed forces. I come from a proud military family. Since I moved here, I always said I wanted to go to Fort Riley and learn about the history of the Big Red One, but the procrastinator in me always said it was too far. Well, if I don’t get down there soon, it will really be far away.

I also thought I would have more time to go swimming in Tuttle Creek State Park. As a family, we always enjoyed the many lakes around the Dallas area. When we moved here, we wanted to carry on the same family tradition, but we never seemed to get around to doing it. The algae scare last summer didn’t help, but that’s not a good excuse.

I enjoyed attending K-State football and basketball games. The gameday atmosphere at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum is college sports heaven. But I never had the chance to attend a baseball game at Tointon Family Stadium. I just never seemed to find the time despite pleas from my youngest. Alas, my time here and college baseball season is winding down.

Last, but not least, on my Bucket List is participating in Manhattan Day. Every year I have either worked or been out of town on the first Saturday in June. So, we have never had a chance to get to know our neighbors, especially since our neighbors change every fall. It is unfortunate that I probably will miss this year’s event by a few days.

Bucket List aside, the most important thing I have to do is say good bye to all the friends and acquaintances I have made here in the area. When I first arrived here, I said that I had yet to meet a jerk in Manhattan. Three years later that still holds true.

Manhattanites have been so nice to me and my family. We have met some wonderful people here, and we will take with us the memories of their warm smiles and positive attitudes.


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