Lakefront scene

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Celebration lakefront

Model of Celebration's first phase

One late afternoon, I was at the lakefront. I had intended to go to one of the restaurants where locals congregate, but it wasn't very busy, so I had some ice cream at the sweet shop and bought take-out lasagna at the grocery. The people around were mostly residents, instead of the visitors that dominate during the day. It wasn't too busy, but there were at least a few people everywhere I looked, from the hotel overlooking the lake, along the waterfront and across to the interactive fountain. There were three people on roller blades being pulled by their dogs. There was a family sitting on the lake steps; there were two girls on roller skates, three or four kids on bicycles, small groups standing or sitting at the fountain, a family with a stroller going around the lake path, and several children walking by themselves. On the rocking chairs by the lake sat a man reading a paper, a woman with a book, and another listening to a headset. There was a boy with his own headset going around the downtown blocks; he turned up every five minutes, sometimes walking and sometimes on a bicycle. A father and a daughter chatted as they walked along the lake. At the ice cream store a preteen girl rode up on one of those little silver scooters with tiny wheels, which she left leaning on the door when she went in; after a while she came out with three other kids and they went to hang out by stores further down the street. A boy rode another scooter over to the fountain, joining a group talking to a photographer and his assistant, who turned out to be from the French magazine Geo, doing a story on Celebration, which they thought was attractive and safe, and was changing their ideas about what was possible in America. The atmosphere was peaceful, relaxed and unbusy. People were looking at the colors in the sky and enjoying the warmer air. The kids were mellow, except for the lonely boy going around and around. The Norman Rockwell effect was overwhelming, yet pleasant.