Even though our park is desolate and derelict and dusty, it remains an interesting place to visit for the passing scene, both natural and man-made. Sometimes both. And sometime mysterious or at least a little puzzling. You can find more about past events in previous posts in this section.
As the last wildflowers linger past Thanksgiving Day, we wanted to suggest you take a look at the District's promised park land. It's not much to look at... at first glance. The abandoned road is still there, with its battered industrial-strength guard rail and faded I-95 direction signs. Several lengths of surplus? abandoned? forgotten? gas pipe provide refuge for rabbits evading visiting dogs. A pile of bricks, heaps of dirt and broken concrete and whatnot dot the landscape.
But look beyond all that. The 195 commission has removed much of the scrambled brush, saplings and milkweed that used to impeded the pedestrian. Brush that used to catch blown newspapers and plastic bags has been cut back. And the nascent homeless encampment no longer has its grassy bed and sheltering shrubs.
Drop by today and you'll have a clear path that runs (or walks, depending on your inclination) from the south end intersection of Eddy, Ship and Dyer Streets along the Narragansett Bay Commission "canal" and around onto the Providence River embankment and upriver on the River Walk into DownCity.
People have already discovered our Park's quiet pleasures. You'll find them enjoying a morning jog, a lunchtime walk, a sunset stroll (4:30 pm seems early for the sun to go down, but that's winter for you), an evening promenade... loosing a happy dog to persuade geese to go elsewhere to graze... taking in the view across at the east side of the river where the marvelous19th-century warehouses glow in the late afternoon sun.
Fishermen cast their lines out toward the I-195 piers. While they wait for bites, those piers wait for the pedestrian bridge construction to begin next year. The bridge will give CiTY WALK a direct route across the river on its way from Roger Williams Park to India Point Park. CiTY WALK plans here.
A birdwatcher spends his lunch hour scanning for birds in the trees that line the area across the canal. Those trees will shield park-goers from the view of the new switchgear building and transformer yard National Grid is about to build there. Details here. Next door, as part of its redevelopment of the old power plant, South Street Landing will extend the River Walk around the transformer yard and on downstream to the parklet at Point Street.
For a little local color: a few pictures of late blooming flowers, an overview of the park from the Dyer Street entrance and some reminders of the narrow escape we had last summer. (Keep an eye out for any hints that the ball park notion may be coming back to life. We believe it is dead... but you never know.)
OK, the District does have a slightly unkempt look, especially along the curbs and in parking lots after a weekend. Somehow, most of it gets picked up by the time the next weekend erupts.
But when a sidewalk is impassible because weeds have been allowed to go berserk, maybe a whistle should be blown, a foul called and a red card handed out.
C'mon, 55 Claverick Street!
Weeds are overflowing the Bassett St. side of your parking lot. Besides looking terrible, the sidewalk is barricaded. Soon J&W students will need machetes to get home.
They could be called: Hunh? photographs.
Every now and again in the District, visual evidence signals a mishap, a malefaction or a prank. But they're only found after whatever happened has already happened. Black skidmarks across a sidewalk... puncture wounds on a traffic light control box... hay bale castles in the I-Way construction zone... odd signage.
The Providence Connex website helpfully posts a street sweeping schedule and announces that sweeping will begin on April 9, 2014.
Let's see... today is the 25th of July. Has anyone seen hide or hair of a sweeper in the Jewelry District?
If you have seen such an object, please notify the JDA. That will tell us whether to compliment or bug the Dept. of Public Works. According to the schedule, Police Districts from 2 through 8 were scheduled to have five (count 'em 5) passthroughs by a sweeper by June 23d.
The good news is that District 1 was supposed to have even more passes from a sweeper! Note the note that says "Sweeping in District 1, downtown, will occur only at night and on a more frequent basis." Cleverly the note doesn't mention that District 1 has three sections, A, B and C. The Jewelry District is 1C.
Maybe they haven't come around because 1C is so overwhelmingly dirty that it's beyond sweeping and needs excavating. Oh, sorry, digging in the District has been going on since 2009.
Anyway, let us know if you hear the sound of... or actually sight... a street sweeper.