Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Whites Creek Park: A Review

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 5:11 AM

A professional would have thought to get the cricket players names.
  • A professional would have thought to get the cricket players' names.
In Short:

Location: On Old Hickory Boulevard, right in front of Whites Creek High School
Size of Park: Medium Small
Crowds: Pretty crowded
Approximate Age of Patrons: All ages
Topics of Conversation: "You know this is cricket, right?"
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: Cars and pick-ups
Perceived Safety: High
Number of Gunshots Heard: None. Must be too hot for hunters
Dog Friendliness: Technically low, but I know some folks take their dogs there to play fetch when it's empty
Number of pitbulls sighted: One, in a car. It was 97, much too hot for a bulldog to be out in the heat. Mine sat in the air conditioned car and listened to the radio.
Accessibility: Eh, low. But, you can sit in your car and see the fields with no problem.
Incorporation of Local History: None
Recommended Patrons: People who like cricket, baseball, Mexican food, and hot, sweaty men playing sports

I tried to keep far enough back that no one would be recognizable so that they wouldnt be harassed by misguided state legislators who thought they were taking fun from real Tennesseans.
  • I tried to keep far enough back that no one would be recognizable so that they wouldn't be harassed by misguided state legislators who thought they were taking fun from "real" Tennesseans.
Last year, when we first realized that grown men played baseball in Whites Creek Park on weekends, we would drive by real slow or stop and gawk or sit at the Sonic and wait for them to pull up in their uniforms to get a quick lunch. We tried to be discreet, but when I started doing park reviews, I could not wait for the day when it would be summer again and I could go to the park and watch the men play baseball. I would be gawking for a reason!

So I've been trying to keep my eye on the park, to see what time the games are so I could review the park during a game. And that's when I saw something very strange.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a small group of men dressed all in white just beyond the baseball field. I jumped to the only plausible conclusion — a small group of Old-timey Milkman Reenactors was there to recreate the famous Whites Creek Milkman Riots of 1897.

It seemed logical, but my theory had one minor flaw — there were no famous Whites Creek Milkman Riots of 1897. So I took a closer look, and lo and behold — some guys were playing cricket!

It was intriguing enough that I set aside my goal of ogling hot, sweaty baseball players and decided to find out more about the cricket playing.

It turns out that the cricket players are very nice, even though I interrupted them as they were getting ready for a match. They let me take their picture, and they explained that they are usually out there every Sunday starting at 11 a.m. More importantly, for the next five weeks, they will be having matches against teams from Atlanta, which, they told me, would be very cool to watch. They invite folks to come out.

I cannot encourage you strongly enough to go watch them. What awesome fun!

But let me tell you a little about what's going on at the park so you'll come prepared. There aren't bleachers, so bring chairs or blankets to sit on. While I was there, there was a baseball game going on as well and people had just parked their trucks so they could sit in the beds and watch — an excellent idea. There was a small taco truck serving the baseball crowd, but I don't think you should count on that being there every week. If you need food or drinks, bring it in with you. Also, take it out with you. I didn't see any trashcans.

Many folks had umbrellas to keep the sun off or big hats. This is a great idea, because the park is in a huge open field. There aren't any trees to shade you.

The park is not that exciting a destination when nothing's going on. But on a day when you can see cricket, or baseball, or cricket and baseball? Gawking doesn't get much better.

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