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Monday, October 12, 2015

Neighbors claiming local parks

I was talking about the changes at Lincoln Park. There's another park that neighbors have sort of claimed as their own and they don't like people at that park either. It's the small pocket park on 22nd Avenue, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Mini Park. You may drive by it daily without even noticing it. It's a beautiful little park surrounded by huge shade trees.

Mostly children play in this park, but I have to admit once or twice, maybe 10 years ago, I had lunch there, I didn't see anyone in the park at the time, but I assume it is popular due to the proximity to the neighborhood. I know that Santa Claus as been there at neighborhood holiday parties.

Well recently, teenagers have come to the park at night. I don't think they are causing problems, but neighbors have complained to the police; they think that they are vandalizing cars in the neighborhood, but I don't think that's the case. I think the neighbors just don't want strangers in "their park."

When I was younger, we hung out at parks, we didn't cause damage. I remember so many times, maybe at 1 or 2 in the morning, hanging with friends in Peacock Park, at picnic tables, under shelters, near the water. We hung out for a half hour and left, we didn't vandalize anything.
The neighbors near the 22nd Avenue Park don't want anyone at "their park," and this could be the case with Lincoln Park, although Lincoln Park went from being a quiet little park into being an noisy playground with fake grass.

In my neighborhood there is a secret little passageway to the bay. For years people have come out in the middle of the night to hang out there - to fish, to make-out, to hang out. And we neighbors have all chased them away at one time or another. I felt bad one time when I chased a bunch of clean cut college kids away. But we felt it was for neighborhood safety reasons, but in reality, we were not sharing the wealth. It was ours, we didn't want them to have any part of it. Very Donald Trump of us.

Now we let anyone back there, they are enjoying a night hanging out by the bay. In all these years there has never been an incident, but one of my neighbors swears that refugees are being smuggled through the passageway from the bay. But that's another story.

I can see how neighbors get attached to their outdoor spaces. And I can see how neighbors near Lincoln Park just want their old park back, they never chased people away, they shared it with all, but they shared a quiet pocket park, not a playground, which it is now.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live near the park and there have been at least a dozen vehicle break ins and attempts by individuals video footage clearly revealed to be teenagers. maybe the people there at 2 am have nothing to do with it, but with many neighbors paranoid about criminal activity there are potentially more legitimate considerations behind this than simple territorialism.

October 13, 2015 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in middle school & high school (early 2000s) we used to hang out at the 22nd Ave Park. In high school & college we used to hang out at the spot you mentioned between 2 mansions. Can't tell you how many times cops would pull up, check out IDs (looking to see where we lived) & told us it was a private park & we weren't allowed to be there. If you don't like people enjoying the park in their own neighborhood, then don't live near a park.

October 14, 2015 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Tom SHAME ON YOU! SHAME ON ALL OF YOUR NEIGHBORS! The biggest problem in coconut grove is exemplified by that story - people claiming public space as their own.

Until just a few years ago, I lived directly across from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Park, and I often saw teenagers make use of it. hanging out at the picnic table and talking or sometimes climbing that large, great climbing tree at the front. My non-gated driveway there housed motorcycles, cars and bikes, and never once in many years did any touch them. I never had one single problem with them, not noise, not vandalism, and certainly not theft.

The biggest annoyance was actually people treating the space in front of the park as their own private permanent 24/7, weeks at a time, parking space.

And people, please stop referring to teenagers or young people as a singularity, all responsible and punishable for the actions of any others. It's disgusting and pathetic.

The grove has become such a pathetic place these days infected by the worst, most selfish, egotistical, hateful, spoiled trash-people.

I miss where I used to live, and the sense of community that once existed in the grove.

October 14, 2015 12:32 PM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

Shame on me? I was defending the teens and saying the neighbors are being bullies claiming to own the park. I'm on your side.

October 14, 2015 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a part of human nature when folks close to a park begin to think their proximity gives them rights to open public land. I drive an old truck and a man demanded "can I help you" as I parked at one of these parks. At the boat ramp a man constantly grabs my lines or tries to turn my pulley to ramp my boat onto the trailer, hoping for a tip. If a person uses the BBQ and the wind/smoke is blowing across their property, on occasion they have called the police. At the dog park across from M. Sarnoff home a man cleans up the trash, [FOR YEARS NOW] and it's obvious to all that he believes his name is on the parks deed. It's all harmless and can be quite entertaining!

October 15, 2015 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live near Lincoln Park, and have done so for many years. I love to see the park being used and enjoyed, but it is the fake grass, plastic jungle-gyms, and high fence that is the issue in our little part of the Grove. There have always been young people using the park late at night, and mostly they're just sitting and talking. It's what teens do, and if we're supportive and accepting of this activity, we will all live in a much more friendly community.

Grapevine, you were right for eluding to Donald Trump when talking about kicking kids out of parks. This sort of fear and decisiveness has no place in our community.

October 20, 2015 10:29 AM  

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