Well, the blue paint we saw on the bricks on our street didn’t deceive. Columbia Gas was in the ‘hood today, and our quaint bricks have been ripped up and replaced by ugly metal covers, glued down by even more unsightly asphalt smears. It’s left our street looking sad, and scarred.
We have some hope that the street will be returned to something close to its prior condition, because the bricks that were removed have been neatly stacked next to the gaping wounds. But can our street ever really regain its formerly brickish glory? And how do you get the asphalt off of brick, anyway?
St. Mary Catholic Church in German Village installed a new “Peace Garden” area along Third Street when it underwent renovation work recently. Among the items in the Peace Garden is a statue of a seated lady waiting patiently on a bench. According to the plaque at her feet, it’s a representation of Mrs. Plank, who I suspect was a faithful member of the congregation.
I pass St. Mary every morning on my walk, and I really like the Peace Garden and the statue — except on winter days when it snows. Because when it snows, as it has for the past few days, the placid Mrs. Plank becomes utterly snow-covered, and seeing her in that condition always makes the snowy day feel a few degrees colder. Brrrr! I want to help Mrs. Plank up so she could shed that blanket of snow, brush off her snowbound pillbox hat, and go someplace warm. Heck, I’d even spring for a cup of coffee at the Starbuck’s next door.
These bright blue lines appeared on our street this week. The lines look they might be an art project, or a way of marking off parking spaces, or an effort to turn our street into a hockey rink, but I’m concerned they mean trouble ahead instead.
The blue lines point to blue metal lids — like the one you can see on our sidewalk, just above the fence — that mark where water lines can be accessed. The blue lines appeared at a time that Columbia Gas is doing work in our neighborhood involving the relocation of certain gas meters. (The gas lines have bright yellow metal lids, which give the sidewalks a kind of dappled effect.) I’m fearful that the blue lines mean that our quaint brick-paved street is going to be ripped up as part of some big project. I’m hoping that is not the case, because once you tear up old brick streets they never look quite the same again.
Is there every a case where paint markings on a street don’t mean bad news ahead?
Thanksgiving is over, so it is officially okay to start thinking about Christmas. If you’re in Columbus and looking for a Christmas tree, stop by St. Mary’s Church in a German Village. This morning volunteers laid in a huge selection of trees to help make your holidays more festive — and pine-scented.
When Betty and I took our morning lap around Schiller Park yesterday morning, circling the park, clockwise, on the perimeter sidewalk, we encountered the following, in order: (1) a disgusting pool of vomit that all joggers and walkers were steering clear of but that was of intense interest to Betty and other dogs; (2) an area of a flowerbed where the plants were crushed and uprooted; and (3) a car, which had lost part of a bumper and a hubcap, had white paint scrapes on the left front side, and was parked over the curb with a flat right front tire.
You didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that some irresponsible person got drunk Friday night, drove when they shouldn’t have, ran into something, “parked” their car at Schiller, toppled into the flowerbed, and then expelled the stomach poisons. I’m just surprised Betty and I didn’t see and smell a reeking figure passed out on the playground or under a tree.
What’s interesting is that, as of this morning when the photo above was taken, the car is still there. Perhaps the offender had a blackout and can’t remember where he/she left the car. Or, perhaps the car was stolen by the offender, and the true owner doesn’t know where the car is.
So, I’m offering this post as a public service. If this is your car, it’s on the north side of Schiller Park. And if this post helps you retrieve it, how about making a decent contribution to the German Village Garten Club to compensate for the pretty flowerbed that got ruined as part of the entire escapade?
The Schiller Park gardeners have done a fine job this year, and the flowerbeds around the gates to the park are particularly splendid. The beds are colorful and vibrant and are one of the things that make Schiller such a great ornament for the German Village community.
Now, if we could just get the few thoughtless jerks to stop littering . . . .
In 1962, a plot of land that was going to be developed into an apartment building was acquired, instead, by the City of Columbus. Covering about half of a city block on Beck Street, the city named the spot Beck Square Park. To the locals who watched the parade of pooches in and out of the park — often without sufficient owner attention to their societal obligations as canine consorts — it was colloquially known as “Dogshit Park.”
Then the City of Columbus teamed up with the volunteers from the German Village Garten Club, and “Dogshit Park” was transformed. Renamed Frank Fetch Park in 1985, after a former president of the German Village Society who had promoted the creation of the park, it is now a beautiful garden and neighborhood gathering spot that is enjoyed by German Village residents — and their dogs, who are more respectful of the grounds than they apparently used to be.
“Pocket parks” like Frank Fetch Park may have a small footprint, but they can have a big impact on the nearby community. I wish the City of Columbus would resurrect its 1962 approach, buy one of the surface lots downtown, and convert it into a small park. The increasing number of people living downtown would surely appreciate a Frank Fetch Park in their midst.