Learning From South Phoenix

A Day a Hayden Park


  Hayden Park



    After visiting south Phoenix I saw some interesting things. My group and I got our lunch and headed to a nearby park to sit and open our thoughts. While I was eating, I was looking around and saw a few things I wouldn't normally see in my neighborhood. Hayden Park is located on 7th avenue and Broadway.
I noticed across from the park was residential housing and one home had a swing set in the front yard, another yard had a real life cow. After laughing at the cow I figured that it was there for eating purposes. I remember as a child that families would buy a cow, feed it so it got nice and big then slaughter the thing and have a cookout and distribute the rest of the meat proportionately. The swing set however is old school, this might be the practice of many years ago to have a swing set in the front yard but with home associations most of the leisurely fun is resided to the backyard.
I know that parks are normally surrounded by a community of residents who use the park for normal pleasures like sports or picnics or just to walk and get fresh air. This park was different, it was surrounded by a cement plant, a beaten down trailer park, a junkyard, and a used car lot with 10 cars for sale. My first thought was the children who play here and are exposed to these conditions. But these same children probably don't leave the area and this is their home. They know of no other besides the things that were apparent to me and my group.
The park was clean of trash and debris, although there was some graffiti around the benches and trailer park. I also noticed a middle aged man riding a bicycle in circles around an activity center inside the park. He was doing nothing except for riding his bike continuously around the building. One of my group members joked about him waiting for his contact (drug hookup). Although it was a joke I took it very serious, not being offended, but thinking the same thing only in a serious thought.
Although my writing indicates that this environment is new to me it is not. My grandmother has lived in south Phoenix my whole life and while I visited her I've noticed these types of things. This south Phoenix experiment not only was interesting and fun, but it also made me remember the things I had forgotten.


A cow was photographed from a south Phoenix backyard. Cops are harassing the people of south Phoenix.

Dax Ramirez


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