I know, I know, I often rely on the "I didn't go to school here" line of reasoning for why some Madison traditions escape me. But the Memorial Union Terrace in summer is nonetheless one of those things that I just don't get.
I love the chairs. I love the scenery. I get the appeal of the Terrace at sunset. I've certainly enjoyed taking in a concert there on more than one occasion (Jackie Greene and the Violent Femmes come to mind). But I look at this picture, and the crowd doesn't scream "relaxation" to me.
Pressing crowds don't relax me. I've seen the Terrace during the day on a nice afternoon. I can't imagine having enough room to lift my beer to my mouth, much less sit back and relax. Plus, the bugs. Not a fan of mosquitos.
Kristine tells me that I've probably never seen the Terrace when school's not in session. That may be true, but again, none of what I've seen--regardless of when it was that I saw it--tells me that the Terrace on a nice warm sunny day is anything but packed.
What am I not getting? I'm not single, so girlwatching's out. I'm not a boater/rower/windsurfer/canoer/, so that's out too. Is the beer really cheap? Because for my part, I'd much rather go to Cabana Room or Roman Candle or Magnus and sit outside and enjoy a beverage, where there's at least a smaller finite crowd than at the Terrace.