Every now and then I get tired of being a vehicle and become a pedestrian instead. Today was one of those days, so I spent 90 minutes hiking various trails in Palmer Park.
I ride the park at least once a week, usually on one cyclo-cross bike or another, which limits my choices from the trails menu. There may very well be people who can ride the entire Templeton Trail on a ’cross bike, for example, but I am not one of them. So today I stomped around on a mess of trails my wheeled self generally gives a wide berth — the Templeton, the Kinnickinnick, the Cheyenne and the Edna Mae Bennet.
It was a nice change of pace, and also a reminder of the price Bibleburg is paying for the honor of serving as a pilot project for Grover Norquist’s wet dream of drowning a shrunken government in a libertarian bathtub. The park crappers are locked and the water faucets shut off, and I get the impression that a lot of the recent trail maintenance was the work not of parks staff but of volunteers, specifically the Guardians of Palmer Park.
Just outside the park sit empty bus benches bearing signs saying the bus doesn’t stop there anymore, and downtown an even hundred of the century-old trees that make the Old North End so homey are coming down because they are either dead or dying thanks to an extended drought and reduced watering by the city. Plenty of our once-green parks are in a similar woeful state.
Elections have consequences, as folks here and elsewhere are learning the hard way. At least I hope they are.
• Late update: Meanwhile, we’re pouring another $21,500 down the five-ringed loo at the U.S. Olympic Committee — which already cost us $42.3 million in taxpayer dollars — for a temporary mural featuring a local gold medalist in an ludicrous attempt to make ourselves look pretty. Once again, satire runs a very poor second to reality.