Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Going Nowhere

Abandoned Hydropark Rides

Taking a leisurely stroll through Hydropark in Kiev, I can't help but to think back to another amusement park I never got to visit in it's heyday. Palisades Amusement Park. Growing up in New Jersey, I remember the Palisades Park commercials playing continuously on the radio and knowing that one day I would just have to visit that place. But that day never came.

Both Palisades Park and Hydropark were based on similar theories. That the working classes, the great unwashed masses, deserved a break, deserved their time in the sun too. But Palisades Park fell victim to it's own success, while Hydropark fell victim to Soviet austerity programs in the 1980's (they had a very important war to fund, don't you know), to the breakup of the USSR, and to monetary devaluation and hyperinflation in the 1990's.

Unlike Palisades Park, which no longer exists, Hydropark lives on. But prime real estate is leased to entrepreneurs who take control of a section of the park or beach and open it up to those who can afford it. Sorry working classes. The great unwashed masses are no longer welcome at some of the prime locations.  But you're free to wander around and view that which had been.

Note: The fallen trees in the picture came down during a thunderstorm the day before I took this picture. The day before, I was caught outside in another park about 2 miles/3 km from here. Luckily no trees came down in that other park!

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