Monday, July 24, 2006

This used to be my playground.

This is just plain sad.

At the corner of North Oak and Vivion road in the Northland is one of the most beautiful areas in the city. It's a totally undeveloped corner, with rolling hills, lots of trees, and a small pond hidden from view by said hills and trees. This corner holds a special affinity for me, since I grew up in a house almost right across the street from it.

When I was growing up, there was a fence around that corner, and 3 to 4 quarter horses roamed the field. When we would drive by, I would always try to spot a horse and would wave at them, whether I could see them or not. Once, when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my mom, step-sister and I climbed over the fence to pet the horses, and made it back to the stables behind the big, white house before anyone knew we were there. The man who discovered us was very nice and let us pet the horses, before sending us along with a stern warning not to climb over the fence again.

About a week ago, Mr. Awesome and I were driving past that area and he commented that he was so happy no one had touched that corner. I agreed, and silently thanked the Midwest Baptist Seminary for keeping the land as it is.

That corner, the Northland fountain, and the back-road that runs between the park and the YMCA were my playground, my territory. There were no other children in the area, so I roamed around all over with my dog, or my bike, or on roller skates, or whatever. So now that I hear the Seminary has sold the land - that beautiful, inspiring corner - so another useless strip mall can be built, I'm really, really sad and more than a little angry.

The southeast corner of that intersection is a strip mall, the northeast corner is a strip mall, there are strip malls all over everywhere, but where else in this city do you find rolling acres amist the strip malls? Antioch Mall is a perfect area to put the business that want to inhabit yet another strip mall - go there instead and leave my corner alone.

I know there are many people who have to feel the same way I do about that corner. Imagine how you would feel (or felt) when your childhood playground is paved over. What a fucking waste of some restraint in the name of community beautification. An even greater insult is that the deveolpers of this atrosity to my sensibilities are getting tax breaks from the city that are normally given to redevelop blighted land. Does that area look blighted to you? Do you think Anita Gorman would live half a block away from a blighted area? The only blight in this picture is in the hearts of the counciltards who approved this bullshit.

A special thank you to Becky Nace, for being the lone voice of reason in a room full of greedy bastards.

I am just going to have to avoid the area for the next couple of years, as I think I'll be hard-pressed not to cry as I pass when they start their ridiculous cosntruction project. Whoever is responsible for this - I hope meth-heads move in next door to you.

And while I'm on the subject - to the current residents of my childhood home: trim the goddamn shrubs. The house is starting to look like an overgrown mess. How hard is it to get out the hedge trimmers every couple of years?

3 comments:

  1. Blame is rather difficult to assess.

    How about the church, which sold the land to . . . a developer. Guess what? Now the developer wants to develop it.

    The property is zoned for development, so what exactly can be done to stop it?

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  2. Oh, I blame the church plenty, too. They have kept that corner pristine for many years, and I suppose they need money bad enough to sully what I saw as remarkable community generosity on their part by NOT allowing development on that corner. The Miswest Baptist Seminary is just as greedy and to blame for this as anyone else.

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  3. There is a lot of blame to go around and it reads like a who's who and elected or appointed by the outgoing Mayor up north. It all started about a year ago.... Are the Baptist's out of money? .... No! They sold land worth $10/sq ft for a little over $6/sq ft. There are more holes in this deal than a piece of swiss cheese.

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