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Remember: Allentown Park Log: Part One- West Park

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Allentown Park Log: Part One- West Park

When I was a kid my grandfather used to take me to West Park on summer afternoons. I can remember feeding squirrels and chasing pigeons but mostly, I remember the fountain. Back then, it wasn’t working and the frogs that were supposed to be streaming water from their mouths instead just look surprised about how dry they were. I was fascinated by that fountain and my grandfather (I called him Topo) always made sure that I didn’t hop into the empty pool bed.

West Park is an arboretum; with many different species of trees and placards designating what most of them are. As a child I had no concern over which tree was a ginkgo and which was a maple. Now, I find it a wonderful resource to study flora right inside downtown Allentown. I am still mostly distracted by that fountain though.

Cradled between Linden and Turner Street, West Park is the rarest oasis in Allentown. A green escape in between the concrete blocks of city, West Park serves its community as refreshment. The storied band shell provides summer time entertainment as the legendary Allentown Band and various other artists either as storied or as up and coming play out the notes ,that hang in the humidity of July evenings, and dance alongside you.

I look forward to spending time in West Park this summer. I look forward to hearing the Sousa concert.

I hope the fountain is running when I go, although Topo isn’t around anymore to stop me from jumping in.

(This is the first in a series of observations about the expansive and extensive park system of Allentown PA)



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