[ Robert Silverman ]
[ English Texts ]
[ Cybernetically, Bicycle Bob Xe-Dda.p ]
Oxygen Park Opens

On September 1, residents of Park Avenue and Hutchison above Prince Arthur celebrated the opening of their new Oxygen Park. All afternoon and evening we were entertained by singers, jugglers, dancers and poets.

The Park's organizing committee would like to thank the following performers who entertained us that memorable day: The Throw Ups women jugglers; Nancy Gow, a singer who composed a song to the Park for the occasion; local singer Gaetane; the Academy of Martial Arts Gelinas; the poet Benny Dewuarte; dancer Janet Oxley, folksinger John Antonopoulos and the professional Parisian accordianist and folksinger Flo. Food was contributed by Farrouj and La Croisanterie located in the La Cité Mall, Restaurant Rencontre and Bar des Pins. A delicious Algerian couscous for 30 celebrants was prepared by neighbour Abdelamid Abdelbaki. All these people donated their talent, time and food free.

Their generosity was in the same generous spirit as that of the park' builders. At least 15 neighbourhood children participated regularly in the construction by carrying asphalt and spreading earth as well as numerous adults from nearby and throughout the city. Special thanks to designer Pierre Houle, Marc Allaire of adjacent housing coop Petite Hutchison and landscsape architect student, the park's main creator, and press agent Tooker Gomberg.

The Committee for the Construction of Park Oxygen paid out $1.000 for earth, sod, fine crushed gravel and paying to have the remaining asphalt removed. Six hundred dollars is still to be raised. Users and sympathizers can send donations to the Committee at P.O. Box 592, Station H2W 2P2 La Cité, Montreal to cover the deficit and purchase improvements such as benches, bushes and a skating rink.

Our new park can be seen on Hutchison north of Prince Arthur. Previously the space was a dangerous taxi shortcut. On several occasions a child playing there was nearly struck by a taxi.

The lane was unique by its previous usage. It was unique by being the only east-west lane south of Pine. The cars usurped our children's space and that of the neighbors. The provocation was daily. We reacted by depaving and blocking part of the dangerous lane in legitimate self defence. We then had an ugly space. So then, we built the park.

The land is privatly owned and the City is now negociating with M. Fattal the owner to buy it or exchange other land for it and thus finally "officializing" Oxygen Park.

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From the Committee for the Construction of Oxygen Park.

By Robert Silverman.

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© Robert Silverman 2000