|My family in the park (this is the playground side, with fewer trees.)|
Most of the other parks in the city, as well planned and beautiful as they are, have been completely cleared with a few scraggly palms added that do nothing either for shade or for the visual appearance of the park. (I still can't figure out the obsession with palm trees; in a suitable habitat they grow nicely, but they give little shade, and die as quickly as they grow. In Mexico City, some idiot city planners have tried to grow palms in Santa Fe, which is naturally a cool hilly climate where pines grow. The palms grow to about 3 feet tall, and whither up, looking quite sad compared to the majestic pines towering over the hill tops a few kilometers away.)
This new park is also the nicest in the community, providing an ideal balance of trees, walkways, benches and playgrounds. We're in love with this park and delighted that it's so close to us.
The park closest to our house (about a 2 minute walk away) is about 1/4 of the size. It was also nice, but was less planned. Worst of all, though, was the fact that within weeks of its opening it was vandalized. I could live with graffiti, but the kids who did it also nearly dismantled the playground, disfiguring every part they possibly could. It's now been put back together, but from the original parts, so it's still deformed and rather shabby looking. My wife was there when they wrecked part of it, and came home very upset and frustrated, nearly in tears, because they were very rude to her when she tried to convince them to stop. By the time I arrived they had left.
The worst part about it is that everyone on the street (not our street) knows who it was. But no one wants to say or do anything for fear of getting on the bad side of the parents of the kids. I wish parents would pay just a little attention to their kids. Disinterest and complacency are destructive.
No one has touched the new park yet. I hope they don't. After half a year of walking halfway through the community to get to the next park to avoid being reminding of how disappointed, upset and frustrated we were to see our first new park vandalized, we've finally got the best park in the community right across the street.
Moms, dads, kids, teens and dogs all come out every evening to play and relax, and it's really becoming sort of a hub for this part of the community. We love it.
Right now we feel like we live in the best place in the world!
For 2 other pictures (one before the development), read:
The Neighborhood I Call Home