Thursday, January 15, 2009
ADDICTED TO THE PARK
Oh, those ‘tolerant’ Dutch. Back in the 70s I used to hang out in Amsterdam’s Vondelpark. Thirty-five years on, the park hasn’t changed that much. It’s still the place to rollerblade, jog, picnic, sunbathe. The current neighbourhood plan states ‘the Vondelpark is for everyone’ (‘Het Vondelpark is voor iedereen’). And that includes homeless, druggies and drunks as Parool reports today. The ‘addicted’ (‘verslaafden,’ literally the ‘enslaved’), along with dogs, will have their own spot in the park to hang out undisturbed by police and park nazi’s. Cruising gays will also be tolerated as long as they help keep the park clean and use the special trash bins for their used condoms.
Intolerant Burlington could learn by this example. I have heard from our city’s homeless how BPD harass them in summer, when they camp out on the beaches. There's a move to open up yet another dog park in the South End; why not a designated area for the people living in the fringes?
Source (in Dutch). Photo: Parool.