Park Pictures Sunday 25th

This is really just an excuse to upload some of my photos…

berkeley-20160925-020-indian-rockIndian Rock, near the traffic circle at the bottom of Marin (a very steep street that was originally designed for a cable car), is one of the oldest and least-changed parks I visited. Given the general public nervousness about dangerous play equipment in parks, it astonishes me that this rock remains open to public climbing. There are some chiseled-in steps, but no hand rails. If you fall off, you fall. I used to terrify my father running up and down this rock, as I saw a young man do when I visited today.

The Berkeley hills are full of little parks. This is one example at the corner of Arlington and Coventry.

berkeley-20160925-027-coventry-corner

The tree featured here is very climbable – I should know!

One of the biggest “parks” in the Berkeley hills is one I never visited – Sunset Cemetery. I took a lot of photos there, as the huge mausoleum (building where remains are interred in crypts instead of buried) rather fascinated me. But one thing I thought I would never see in Berkeley in a cemetery was a deer!

berkeley-20160925-092-deer-in-cemetaryFrom the Berkeley Hills I moved on to Richmond to find Nicholl Park.

On my way I ran into this small park and playground in a recently-built neighborhood of townhouses. Its centerpiece was a large willow tree.

berkeley-20160925-124-richmond-neighborhood

Nicholl Park was created in 1926 by the WPA (Works Progress Administration – a “New Deal” project to give the unemployed something to do). When my parents took me there in the early 1960s, the park included an aviary (famous for its peacocks), a full steam locomotive that children could climb into, and huge swing sets in a sand lot.

Someone hurt themselves playing on the locomotive, and a fence was put around it.

Sometime later, the aviary was taken out, then the locomotive and the high swings. Today the geese love this park, but on a hot Sunday afternoon, I didn’t see many people in it.

Under these lovely big trees, near where the aviary was located, is a skateboard area – the most popular part of the park now.

berkeley-20160925-128-nicholl-park

The platform where the locomotive once stood now serves as a planter and seems to be favored by the resident (or visiting?) geese.

berkeley-20160925-134-nicholl-park

The tall swing sets have been replaced by much safer (but at this visit, unused) play equipment.

berkeley-20160925-139-nicholl-park

Things do change. But somehow a very well-to-do neighborhood in the Berkeley Hills has managed to retain one of the most dangerous pieces of “play equipment” I have ever seen in any urban park, while the economically disadvantaged city of Richmond has all but lost what was once a thrilling and interesting downtown park.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s