Monday, August 22, 2011

Picnics and hidden parks

This afternoon, after much hemming and hawing about what to do with ourselves before he had to go to work, the boyfriend and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful late summer weather and have a nice little picnic outside. I packed a few odds and ends for me to eat and we headed to Strawberry St. Market for him to pick up something for himself. He settled on a tub of macaroni and cheese and a tub of mashed potatoes (both delicious choices). Right across the street, down an unassuming alleyway, is a hidden, little known park known as Scuffletown Park. Surrounded by parking spaces and backs of houses, this little rectangular oasis proves to be a breath of fresh air when city life becomes stifling. We sat at a circular wooden table that had a painted, circular, low cement wall that encompassed the whole table and was used as the bench. A small group of people showed up shortly after we did and sat at another table with three pizza boxes, no doubt pies from 8 1/2 which is also across the street, a few buildings down from the market.

We passed half an hour or so in the park, commenting on all the cute quirks we noticed (gnomes in trees and "No Rabbits" signs) before walking back to my apartment. It is easy to forget about Richmond's hidden alley parks because they are usually maintained by small organizations or the neighbors surrounding them and do not get a lot of publicity. They're not flashy- no jungle gyms, swing sets, or fountains. They're nice and simple, nice and quiet, and the closest thing to a secret getaway one can find in Richmond when the usual suspects for outdoor escape (Belle Isle, Maymont, Byrd Park) are all filled up or too far away.

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