What gives you a sense of safety?

There used to be benches everywhere. “But they took them all out because [the authorities] said: ‘Problems!’” he said. “Each corner had a bench. You could tell something used to be there from the exposed earth left over; now it’s just a dead patch.  People selling drugs at night, shootings, stabbings. But bad things happen in other places, too.”

Five tables have been placed in the middle of the park, not at the corners, and the tables are chained around the trees.

“Tell her something good!” she says. “All the kids are really close. There are a lot of things the YMCA and the community does, at least for the kids. Marathons, cookouts, birthday parties. If it’s somebody’s birthday, all the kids will be welcome. My son’s best friends are here.” she says. “Everyone knows whose kid is whose; everyone looks out for each other. There’s a lot of life here – kids need other kids to grow.”

When you look up you don’t see the chains around the trees or the trash in the grass, you just see the green canopies careless against the bright blue sky.

All quotations from an interview in Mary Jane Lee Park with Point residents. September 17, 2012 

1 thought on “What gives you a sense of safety?

  1. Pingback: Meet Mary Jane Lee Park | Salem Public Space Project

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