Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Condo Park

Alley of the Week

In Lipstick On a Pig, Tim Harris writes, "Urban centers now exist as centers of upscale consumption and culture for those who can pay the price." One of ways that manifests itself is in the construction of private parks for the well-off.

Belltown had a park at 3rd and Bell that anyone in the public could use, including outcasts. So the neighbors got up in arms about it and turned it into a dog park. One of the main ways homeless people had used the park was to eat food purchased from the adjoining grocery. It's now against the rules to have open food in Regrade Park because the dogs might fight for it. Meanwhile, two blocks away, between Battery and Bell and between 1st and 2nd, two condos stand back to back sharing a park between them. Here's how it looks from space. An inviting plaza with trees and gardening, and probably benches. A great place to picnic.

Here's how it looks through the alley from near Vine Street.

And closer, looking up from inside the alley near the Wall Street entrance.

As you can see, the residents here have no need for the Regrade Park. They've got their own. If you're homeless and frequent the alley you know it's there, but you can't reach it.

They build their own parks, and, not satisfied with that, take ours away.

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