My new abode is surrounded by three parks, each with its distinct personality. If you wanna get hit on by creepy men, walk your dog or do jumping jacks, you go to China Creek. China Creek Park is characterized by a super steep hill overlooking a baseball diamond. I imagine it would be the perfect setting for an outdoor concert. Occasionally they set up a community slip n slide. This is the park where I like to read because the angle of the hill always ensures good lighting. However China Creek does come with the odd interruption. Not odd as in infrequent but odd as in unusually weird. I have been hit on twice so far in this park, the first man may have been an actual serial killer, and I don’t say that lightly. His two cute doggies were swarming me (China Creek is an unofficial dog park) and he used that as an in. His first line was “Wanna go flying?”
-I got a Groupon but my buddies cancelled, wanna go next week?
-Uh can I bring a friend?
We continued to chat a little and I told him how I was on my third job interview for the same company and was out of appropriate outfits. “I have some” was his second line.
-My ex moved out and left a bunch of her clothes, designer stuff, wan’ ’em?
-Uh send me a pic…
He never did cuz he knew he was caught and I surreptitiously avoided him the next time he was walking his dogs.
Another interruption you may come across in China Creek are the training teams, or classes? I’m not sure. I was again sitting in the park reading a book peacefully when I suddenly found myself surrounded by senior citizens in yoga pants hopping up the hill in two lines on either side of me. It was as if i was the nude model in a life drawing class I had not signed up for. “There’s a whole park…”
Today I got offered a free skateboard while reading in the park, then I got hit on. That pretty much sums up China Creek.
The next park over is called Sahalli, it’s characterized by a grassy knoll and a community vegetable garden. Next to Sahalli is the subsidized apartments for those suffering with PTSD Trauma and in the afternoons we’re usually getting shit faced at the park picnic tables together, these are my gang. Terry is a Vietnam Vet who has a slight obsession with Richard Nixon. George endured ten years in Canada’s Residential Schools (racist camps for set up by Europeans to “assimilate” First Nations). Rod is a struggling alcoholic and Shelly is the “mom” or rather “daughter” (she’s my age) who looks after the group. We have good times together but sometimes things get a little crazy, not in Sahalli but in the next park over (can’t remember the name of it) where there’s a larger group of old guys on income assistance drinking. One got pissed at Terry and kicked the peddle off his wheelchair. It gets a bit too intense for me so I tend to avoid it. Adjacent to this space, which really seems like it should be the same park yet has its own name, is the now internet famous Dude Chillin Park. Dude Chillin Park is, like the name suggests, the local hipster hangout. One of my favourite things to do in Dude Chillin is watch the faces on Hipsters passing by as they smile at me or Shelly and then drop to a gape as they see us pallin’ around with a bunch of old dudes in wheelchairs. Dude Chillin Park is full of dudes trying to play guitar or groups of adults playing throw back kids games like California kick ball. I kinda hate it but it’s the nearest park to the liquor store so a logical pit stop on the way home.
Some days I’ll go on a park crawl and just check out he different scenes as my mood changes, I feel very lucky to be sat beside so much greenery and an abundance of birds, a sweet little corner just off the express bus.