Monday, April 25, 2011

Morgan Park: A Review

Posted by on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 6:14 AM

In Short:

Location: Between Germantown and Salemtown
Size of Park: Large for a neighborhood park
Crowds: Light
Approximate Age of Patrons: Teens and Phillipses
Topics of Conversation: "Do you always taste things at the park?"
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: A van
Perceived Safety: Medium
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: High
Number of pitbulls sighted: None
Accessibility: Not great
Incorporation of Local History: Very Good
Recommended Patrons: History buffs, fans of stairs, hoodoo practitioners

Morgan Park is a charming park nestled between Germantown and Salemtown in North Nashville. It's got great green space, a lovely playground, and a million stone steps. There are places to picnic and a nice basketball court where some kids were shooting hoops when we arrived.

My mom and I walked around a lot of the park and marveled at the old building and then, off in the distance, we saw something. We didn't know what. So, like any responsible people, one of whom can't see, the other of whom doesn't have her cell phone, we took off walking towards it.

Turns out that, not only was it a fountain, it was a fountain with thorough interpretive signage. Yes, I know. But it's true. There is a park — a neighborhood park, not some prime tourist destination nor a place people from all over the city hang out — and it has great interpretive signage. It tells you that the place used to be a beer garden and a sulfur springs and all kinds of interesting stuff.

And then the fountain! It's cool. We started at the bottom, where four streams come out of a small pillar. There's also a long trough that brings water from up at the street. I stuck my nose in it and tasted it and I couldn't taste any sulfur. And when we got up to the street, we saw that the waterworks don't use sulfur any more, which is a bummer. The sign up there said that the sulfur springs were used in voodoo practices, but I suspect it was more likely used in hoodoo practices, considering Nashville has had a small but vital rootworking tradition, but I'm not going to quibble over actual signs.

It's a great park and fun. The only slight negative is that, even though I tasted the water, I noticed no magical health benefits. Well, yet, I guess. Plus, this park has a greenway hub, so it's a great place to start a nice walk.

But be warned, if you go to this park without your cell phone and with your mother — especially after you've told your family a harrowing story about park reviewing — your father will come looking for you and you will get yelled at for leading your mother into danger, even though there is no actual danger at the park.

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