Future Sculpture Park

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5 Responses to “Future Sculpture Park”

  1. I just sent this note to the Bellevue Civic Association Yahoo discussion group:

    “Does anyone have information about the work going on at Azalea Mall right now? Over the past few days, work crews have been on site. They have cut down every living thing growing around the footprint of the old mall, leaving only the established trees around the Brook Road frontage part of the site.

    I recall that, several weeks ago, there was a discussion of the site in this newsgroup, and some press coverage. The current clean-up could be a result of pressure that resulted from that. What I would be interested in knowing is whether there are any additional plans other than simply cutting down all the living plants at the site.

    Unfortunately, in my view, what we have now is much uglier than before. Over the past several years, trees and plants had begun to grow out of the rubble and the urban wasteland was starting to at least have life sprouting from it. The trees and vegetation gave a bit of charm to the otherwise ugly site.

    Now someone’s bright idea to clean up the site has left it, once again, bare and ugly. Somebody please tell me the clear cutting is just the start of a larger project and not the extent of “improvements” to be done in response to the neighborhood’s complaints.

    Sorry to see those rugged little trees cut down, I am:

    (yours truly)”

    BTW: I don’t know if y’all saw the news story that ran recently about the mall, but they interviewed our buddy “Annie Get Your Gun” for that story. Hoping the current plunder is the result of my neighborhood association and not the effort of the nascent “Friends of Azalea Mall” group that I heard so much about a couple of months back.

  2. unclebanjo Says:

    V-22 Ospreys?

  3. Thanks for the link to the Osprey landings at Azalea Mall. I should have been out there photographing them that day instead of sitting in my basement writing about it (the following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress – it’s what I was writing the day of the Osprey landings – (© Boatdog):

    “He hauled himself up and braced out into the cold yard, heading purposefully to the woodpile, gathering some fine Lowe’s “spruce-pine-fir” 2×4 drops for kindling. Kneeling on the concrete floor in the shop, he reached for the little hatchet he’d inherited from his father’s tool collection – it was right there where it was supposed to be for once – and quickly split the SPF wood chunks into slivers. A quick but careful stack in the woodstove, a splash of denatured alcohol (this was so quick – why bother with balled up paper or splitting finer wood slivers), and it’s ready to light. But he had forgotten to grab his lighter from the office again this morning. As he stood and turned to head back to the house he felt the familiar thump as his head banged into the low hanging door jamb for the 300th time.

    A moment of nothing but throb, then a hand to the head, small lump, no blood. By now he was half-way down the walk and wondering again why he bought an ill fitting house with low hanging doors, on why he hadn’t learned to duck by now, on why he could not remember to grab his lighter in the morning. Why would anyone build a garage with a 5 foot six tall door, anyway? The throbbing in his brain case seemed to be getting stronger. He seemed to be actually hearing it now… a steady thumping, getting louder. But then he realized – it wasn’t coming from his head. It sounded like a helicopter in the distance. And then he saw the thing coming up from the south and rapidly the thumping got louder and the image clearer as he recognized a marine V-22 Osprey clamoring in his direction. ‘What next?’ came to mind as the thing slowed to a semi-hover about 200 feet above him and the ground under him began to shake from the percussive prop wash.

    The Osprey is an odd duck of a flying thing. It is classified as a “tilt-rotor” aircraft because it can tilt its engines for vertical or horizontal flight. Alex had heard that these things had crashed often in development and in between the throbbing in his head, the beating props of the Osprey, the quaky ground and the windows in his house that were now rattling, he wondered if Bellevue Court was under attack and would this thing crash into his house? He was not aware of any sudden infiltration of his neighborhood by any subversive faction. The worn down appearance of his house and the trickle of homeless transients were the only things he knew of that might be perceived as eroding Bellevue Court’s well established equilibrium. Was this aircraft the city zoning administration making an attack on urban blight? Were they going to airlift our few homeless out of sight and minds? Were they coming to take him away?

    The Osprey slowly passed over the house, its rotor whipping the air around him into pure pulse. It actually landed across the street in the old Azalea Mall parking lot. Alex headed to the street, where he trailed along with several neighbors who were walking in the direction of the parking lot action.”

  4. I went to Azalea Mall this morning for the first time since the friends of azalea mall clear cut the place… and discovered that they also busted up and removed all the Hippo-Land skate park sculptures the kids built over there. Sad.

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