This is my first dog and, so far, I am thankful for the fact that he has forced me to explore the outer regions of Sherman Park. We go for long walks through the neighborhood, around the high school and up and down the streets decorated with historic bungalows. Sherman Park was once the place to live in Milwaukee and parts of the community are still very desirable. The neighborhood’s best-kept secret, however, is Washington Park, which rests on the border between Sherman Park and Washington Heights. What a jewel!
Thanks in large part to Washington Park – and to Sanford, of course – early morning park walks are now my thing.
Washington Park is a monument to imagination, creativity and leisure. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the legendary designer of Central Park in NYC, the park is rarely mentioned as “a place to go” in Milwaukee's visitor’s guides. It is a perfect slice of the past. Complete with a band shell, gazebos and statues that celebrate Milwaukee's German heritage. Washington Park (once known as “West Park”) used to be the centerpiece of a vibrant community. For years, it was even the home of the Milwaukee Zoo. You can still talk to residents who remember hearing the lions roar as they laid in bed as children.
Over the years, however, the magic of the park has been lost to fear, as crime consumed the area. There are a number of people who have made it their mission to protect and preserve Washington Park. Thanks to Sanford and our morning walks, I’m thinking of joining their ranks. It's time to take back Washington Park.
But even now, the park still offers some of its original splendor.
The best time to catch a glimpse of the character and history of a neighborhood is in the still of twilight. My morning walks with Sanford help me to understand the past, the future and our role in the transformation. I don't have all of the answers but this I do know...I want to experience what I see at twilight in broad daylight and at night.
Some think of twilight as the end of an era, but it can also be used to simply describe how the sky looks when the sun is below the horizon – either in morning or evening. There’s a third definition, that I like, too:
“A state of diffused or dim illumination.”
It’s funny how sometimes we see things more clearly – past, present and future – when we’re forced to be less reliant on exterior light.
So all of this begs the question:
Are you seeing your life clearly…and are you available to walk Sanford in Washington Park?