Archive for the ‘urban parks’ Tag

Mr. Grumpypants Rides Again!   2 comments

Mr. Grumpy Pants Rides Again!

Mr. Grumpypants in happier times.

Mr. Grumpypants in happier times.

It’s beautiful weather here in the Bovine City. The flood waters have receded for another year at least and the spirit of cooperation and, well, let’s just say it, LOVE, that washed over the city (so to speak) earlier this summer still prevails. Yes, it really was the summer of love here, and if anyone is feeling a bit of Nenshi-fatigue, no one is admitting to it. (We have the best mayor; Toronto has the worst mayor. It doesn’t get any better than that. Surely.)

You’d have to wonder how anyone could find anything to be grumpy about in this Shangri-La but true to form, here he is again, Mr. Grumpypants, reminding us once again that no matter where you go, there will always be someone who is unhappy about something. Take it away, your grumpiness . . . .






Yeah. OK. Exhibit A. Take a look at this photo:

Hardly an award-winning photo but it will give you an idea.

Hardly an award-winning photo but it will give you an idea.


It looks like a war zone, right? It looks like it was taken in some kind of post-industrial wasteland in a third world country.  In fact, it was taken in the Connaught neighbourhood of Calgary.

A year ago, this was a happy, friendly little park. It was a well-populated park. There are many people in this neighbourhood who live in apartments with no balconies, or perhaps north-facing balconies bereft of sunshine, who need and utilize this park. It was a busy place.

To this park, that was really nothing more than a grassy glade in the midst of the concrete jungle, the people would happily flock. Here you would find a person leaning against a tree, perhaps reading a book. You would see people playing a game of catch with a Frisbee. Or a football. You had the lovers sharing a blanket, arguing about fixed mortgage rates, and cheeses, etc.  Yet others with dogs, happily, willingly bagging the shit of these senseless violent creatures. Go figure!

There was one guy who had one of those remote control helicopters and I took a certain delight in watching him, over the course of the summer (last year), learn to fly the thing. (Rumours that he was planning on affixing a video cam to the helicopter in order to spy on his ex-girlfriend who lived on the third floor of a nearby apartment are to date unsubstantiated.)

My point is that a year ago, on any given day, that park was a thriving oasis in the middle of a very urban neighbourhood.

And then a year ago, last August, the green fence that you can see in this photo was placed around the park, in effect locking out anyone who wanted to use it. I remember thinking at the time, why do that in August? Why not wait till after Labour Day? The days we can actually sit out in a park in this city are numbered. Why now? Why August?

Putting a fence around the park and locking everyone out of it might have been excused had anything happened, but nothing did. The empty, fenced park sat there for at least the next four or five or six weeks with nothing being done to it. And soon enough, winter came and we switched to survival mode so then who was even thinking about parks and such?

Over the course of the winter and early spring, the only thing that became clear was that the newly envisioned, improved park would feature a running track. The outline of the thing has been visible through the fence for some time now. Along with some holes that look like they might have to do with lighting. And there’s a huge pile of dirt in the middle of the thing that’s been there so long, untouched, that by early summer it sprouted grass, resembling an iron age burial ground.

All work, all progress, meager as it was, stopped at the time of the flood, and so I guess we all thought fair enough, the park renovating people are probably doing emergency flood relief.

But now, months after that, over a year in, all told, this once happy and well-utilized park looks like it does in my sad little photo.

To put it in some kind of perspective, that high rise apartment in the background has been totally constructed in less time than it has taken to render this park into its current state.  A whole fucking entire building has been erected and they can’t do a half a block of grass and a running track.

I don’t suppose any of the users of that park have had a chance to voice their displeasure, but I certainly am, here and now. WTF?! What kind of morons would put a fence around a perfectly fine park for over a year only to have it look like this? What is wrong with people? Whose idea was this? Why aren’t heads rolling? Who is responsible? And who was the genius who decided that a park largely populated by readers and slackers and lovers and dope smokers needed a fucking running track in the middle of it in the first place?!?!?!?! (To voice my feelings on joggers is well beyond the scope of the current post.)

And finally, because they obviously won’t make it this year, when might we expect this unwanted improvement finally to be completed? How many years will slide by?


They should have just left well enough alone, fucking assholes, if you can’t do any better than that. It’s as I always say, change is never good. Nothing good ever comes of it.

Thank you for reading.




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