Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My neighborhood needs a miracle --- or a bomb.

This National Park Service land has been a big problem for at least as long as I have lived in Congress Heights. To be fair, the National Park Service has put in a good fight but they are always fighting a losing battle. Two years ago the National Park Service invested in new sod, new trees, new benches, and new picnic tables. Now the entire space looks like an old battlefield. A testament of the neighborhoods hopes for better and the forces that be constantly standing in the way of that.  Because the 801 East shelter won't invest in a day-time waiting area for the region's homeless my neighbors can't have a public park we can use. Children are left to literally play in traffic because it is safer than our park! 

The corner of MLK Ave SE and Malcolm X Ave SE is publicly funded horror story.  No one can use  this space for a park - at least not for any reasonable amount of time or purpose. Shepherd Park is the public drinking square, the de facto waiting room for the area's social service providers, and the central marketplace for neighborhood drug dealers. Even the grass (that was new a year ago) has thrown in the towel. Only muddy footprints and milk crates remain. 

In my more frustrated moments I have imagined this "park" destroyed by fire and by blacktop.  One enterprising and equally frustrated neighbor suggested an atom bomb.

That sounds about right. Now where can I get my hands on one?

P.S. This is the first time in many, many  months I have been able to get close enough to this park to take pictures. Normally it is overrun with loiters and drinkers. No idea where they had all gone that day but the park was nearly desolate. 

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DaReslnt1 said...

Damn girl! You got really It must be the below 20 degree weather.

I think that the park police and MPD would really have to make a commitment to come out and ticket people for drinking and littering, regularly, but since its poor people in a poor neighborhood, no one cares.

there is a no right turn sign at the drive-thru exit of Popeyes and I watched a woman hold up traffic while making the illegal turn (that many people make) while a cop car was right next to her. The officer did not get out and ticket her, and people just continued to blow their horn while she blocked traffic. No one cares, until something happens.

i heart newcomb said...

We should reclaim this park! My baby loves going here to play on the swings. And sometimes there are other neighborhood kids playing catch. They humor my baby and let him play with them. If only we had a real fence that would stay put (iron wrought) like the ones in other playgrounds in the city! Who tears down a playground fence anyways?

IMGoph said...

It's a shame - we put a lot of effort into planting the trees there, and neighbors promised to help with the upkeep once the investment in time and materials was gone. What happened to those folks?