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Pokémon GO has people of all ages literally traveling across the land, searching far and wide for Pokémon. If you haven’t heard, Pokémon GO is the latest game of the Nintendo-owned franchise that uses augmented reality technology, which allows players to battle and catch Pokémon IRL via their smart phones. Its enormous popularity in Shreveport-Bossier is no surprise. Youth Services at Broadmoor Library even put together a map of the Shreveport area with Gyms, rare sightings and PokéStops. You can see the Google map and their website here.
Downtown Shreveport is a hotspot for Pokémon GO. Last time I checked, there were 20 PokéStops along Texas Street. I work downtown next to the Call to Action Mural and have caught 18 Pokémon in the past week by just walking in and out of my office building.
If you are wanting to hunt for Pokémon downtown, my suggested route to you is to pick a side of Texas Street, follow it to First United Methodist Church, and then follow the other side of the street back – while making detours down side roads to get to other PokéStops.
I made this journey on a recent Wednesday afternoon and thought that I’d share some highlights.
Okay, first off, it’s hot outside. Wear a hat and bring a water bottle. The best place to park is at one of the parking meters along the railroad tracks on Commerce Street near the Red River District (parking at a parking meter is free after 5 p.m. on the weekdays and always free on weekends!). This puts you in the vicinity of 3/5 gyms downtown (I’ll let you figure out where on your own) and near RiverView Park where dozens of PokéStops are located.
I forgot my water bottle so I stopped at Bon Temps Coffee first thing for a caramel frappe ($4) (it was completely melted by the time I got to the Blind Tiger but still delicious). While I was there, I found a Caterpie!
I then walked to RiverView Park, but it’s closed for construction, so I didn’t get to go inside. As I headed back into the Red River District, a wild Bulbasaur appeared! This guy escaped from my Pokéball 3 times, but I finally caught him as my app crashed. Thankfully, it saved in time #blessed. I named him Leafy.
I chose to stay on the right side as I continued down Texas Street. There were 15 other people out playing Pokémon GO, and I ended up next to a married couple for the next few PokéStops. Chris, 41, said that she started playing the game because her 20 year old son got her into it. She loves that it’s something that their whole family can do together.
My luck changed near Artspace. When I look back at the history books written about Shreveport in the summer of 2016, I hope I see this picture:
When I reached Artspace, I headed in to check out “Phases: a Moonbot Retrospective Exhibit.” Along with Pokémon, I watched a lot of Rolie Polie Olie when I was a kid. I hadn’t noticed the giant blister growing on my toe from my sandals until I stepped inside, but I forgot all about it when my phone buzzed and a Doduo appeared.
I made my way back down Texas Street, stopping at Pokéstops and catching a few Pokémon here and there. I ended my journey back at Bon Temps Coffee to get some water when I ran into my friend, Shadi Darzeidan, 23, who was also playing Pokémon GO. “I’ve been a fan of the games since I was a kid and I’m excited for Pokémon Sun and Moon coming out soon,” said Shadi. “My favorite thing about the game is being able to catch them in the open and the random encounters, like unexpectedly seeing a Tauros. It’s like they’re there with you.”
My favorite thing about Pokémon GO is that it has created a visible common interest among people and invites us to talk to each other in person. Who would have thought that a smart phone app would have ever accomplished that?
Fun Stuff to do this week while you’re downtown catching Pokémon:
Fully Stacked is hosting a Start Trek Trivia Night in honor of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary on Wednesday, July 20. Two lucky names will be drawn for a chance to win free tickets to the opening of Star Trek Beyond this weekend.
Bring your dog to SciPort on Friday, July 22 for The Dogs After Dark Star Party. Learn about animal constellations in the planetarium and on the rooftop. Pooches can enjoy treat stations, and humans can enjoy a cash bar and food truck.
The Robinson Film Center will celebrating “Phases: A Moonbot Studios Retrospective,” by showing Moonbot Shorts on Saturday, July 23. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with co-founder William Joyce and creative director Limbert Fabian.
Poets in the District takes place every Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Bon Temps Coffee Bar. All artistic styles are welcome to this free open mic night.
If you haven’t seen it yet, The Lisandra Brown “Color de Piel” Exhibit is still up at The Agora Borealis.
For more fun stuff to do downtown and in Shreveport-Bossier, check out www.SBFunGuide.com.
If you have any more Pokémon Go tips for fellow trainers, leave them in the comments below!