I’m writing about parks (in urban spaces) which has, honestly, kind of fascinated me for quite a while because I never really realized how crazy people in urban cities are about parks until I met a lot of crazy people in San Francisco.
I grew up in a suburban-ish neighborhood and we had a huge backyard and all of our family friends had houses with really impressive backyards because I guess that was like a thing. Apparently Californians live an “indoor-outdoor” lifestyle, as interior designers tell me.
We literally had at least ten different fruit tree/plants, a bunch of evergreens, other trees, and at some point I think there was a palm tree (invasive) that popped up on our front yard. My mom liked growing tomatoes. We had tons of flower bushes. She apparently also landscaped the yard and built the patio (I remember being 2 or 3 and she asked what shape the lawn should be and I said “peanut shaped” and she actually did it.)
Of course, we had parks too. There’s be play-spaces near or in schools and Stanford’s front lawn was like this massive green thing where people who had nothing to do with Standford would go and just. Sit on it. Most universities and colleges had these lawn-y open spaces for people to just. Use green space the way humans use green space. I had never really thought about it. I was able to take it for granted.
It’s different in cities, or in living in these yard-less apartments near college campuses. Many people don’t own green space and don’t see the need to because they can live very close to a public park or plaza, and they’ll take their kids to a nearby park where there are playgrounds and tennis courts and trails and a view of the Manhattan skyline. Or not, because there are over 2,000 parks in NYC and some of them are dead and creepy.
There are literally people who spend like 20 years fighting for their local parks. There are people who make a ton of money managing parks because the city won’t. There are people who spent a ton of time volunteering for their local park because that’s the only way it stays clean.