Monday, July 18, 2011

A Park Expands ...

I am back in the USA and it's time to head for a walk in the park. One of the benefits of living in Midtown is that Piedmont Park is so close and easy to enjoy. It is a sunny day and God’s invitation to be outside and enjoy this wonderful day has arrived at my door step. I have not gone to Piedmont Park since I arrived back in Atlanta so I look forward to visiting my old walking paths and green grassy knolls (that one is for you Georgina).

I walk the five blocks through the Midtown neighborhood with its trimmed front lawns and beautiful flowers in bloom to the entrance of the park.  It is just as I remember it: the old bridge welcomes me to stroll high above the old railroad valley into the grove of shade trees. The air is fresh and clean and I begin to head towards the little pond. To my right there lies one of those beautiful grassy fields.  In the center of the field theere is a shelter that has been constructed on what used to be a small parking lot for the park. It sure is nice they have turned this asphault into more green space.  Soon I am imagining a bride and groom exchanging their vows here or maybe it is a family gathered together with their basket of goods to have a lovely afternoon picnic.  It is a perfect location for either of these occastions.  As I walk down the sidewalk past the shelter towards Magnolia Hall - a small event facility where that same imaginary couple may be having their reception after their wedding nuptials. I continue to fantasize a little about the couple and how their day is just perfect with sun beating down,  a few light fluffy clouds in the sky and a light breeze to keep their guests cool.  I walk past Magnolia Hall and am distracted by the realization thatt the park expansion they were working on during my last visit is now open.  I decide to check what they have created instead of heading the the Botanical Garden which was my first thought. 

The sidewalk descends down the hill and so I follow it through the shade of the large trees surrounding the path. It opens up and you can see the back of Amsterdam (a small retail center) and the two dog parks. One park is for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs, for those who have never visited a dog park in the United States; they are large open areas which are fenced in. Dog owners bring their pooches here and let them run free with the other dogs. These dog parks can be seen from the bridge (the one at the entrance of the park I had strolled across earlier) and from time to time I stop and watch the dogs playing down below. I find it relaxing and although I do not own a dog I can appreciate the carefree play of a dog and easy life it lives.

Back to my walk, I stroll along the path and there are many places to look out over the natural terrain below, where the train used to run. It is obvious there is some work to be done yet, but the water ways and drainage systems look ready for the next large rainfall. The grass has turned brown already as the summer heat has hit Atlanta early. On the overlooks there are benches for people to sit and I must say the have done a nice job of expanding the park. I continue a little further and soon hear the laughter and screams of children playing ahead. Walking onto a large grass oval I cannot see the source of the
excitement and wonder what could be creating it. Soon I come to a small summit and quickly see what all the noise is. There is a legacy water fountain with children sprinting through attempting to not catch a drop. Even though I am sure that is not really what they want. The water must be quite refreshing in the heat of the morning.

I stop for a while to watch the children enjoying the water, never knowing which fountain will shoot water next and running and screaming and just simply having a good time. This is what summer is all about. Soon it is time for me to continue my journey and I walk down the stairs and once again think of our imaginary bride and groom. This would be a perfect place for a romantic picture or maybe a not so romantic photo of the wedding party. Both would have the beautiful background of green grass – greystone steps and carriage lamps.

Soon the path I am traveling turns to dirt and is no longer paved. The final section of my stroll is through the new area is obviously still under construction with its bright orange fencing keeping visiters inside the lines. There is a lot of space to be converted and a couple of free standing bridges that are yet to be connected to paths. The expansion is going to be a great enhancement of the park once finished. Soon I arrive at the road behind some shops bordered by Piedmont Road on the other side. My journey through Piedmont Park’s expansion is complete for today. I look forward to visiting again and see more improvements in the near future.

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