Sunday, October 28, 2007

Franklin Tennessee visit

Yesterday our family, the two boys,my wife and Mother ( visiting from Northern California) took our first adventure to another part of the state.

Franklin TN, which is just south of Nashville, was having it's annual Pumpkin festival. The day before they had their annual wine festival and Saturday was their Chili cook-off. The festival is tailored for kid's activities and has many other booths, live-dancing and anything else that comes with the charm of having a small town festival. I highly recommend going to this town for a visit. There is a exquisite European bakery there called Merridee's Breadbasket . Just finding that bakery made it worth the trip to the town. Their
scones and cinnamon rolls are to die for.

If you wonder what Memphis might have looked like at the peak of it's own charm and cleanliness, then you should go to Franklin. They have completely revitalized the historic downtown square and the parks and recreation system is clearly a major priority.
Click here to check out there parks system.

Franklin Skatepark

Which brings us to the skatepark officially known as the Jim Warren skate plaza. Here is a video of the giant bowl that they have there.

The bowl is a peanut shape with an 11 foot bowl and a 7 foot smaller bowl that feeds into the larger one. The rest of the park is in what is known as a skate plaza format which caters to street skating. It's a nice park but the park suffers from what most skate parks do. There are too many advanced elements that most skaters think are cool to put in their parks but in reality are too hard and rarely get used. There were many rails in the park, but they were dangerous for most skaters and were not being attempted. The main issue is the rails were a foot too high to ollie onto.

The large bowl is most likely a big hit with the older 30-40ish skaters but none of the 20+ younger skaters at the park were using it. Why didn't they put in a smaller beginner bowl that the kids could learn on?

It's critical when designing our park that what we think sounds cool often is far more difficult in practice. Nevertheless, the park was completely packed and the skaters were elated to have place to skate. Way to go Franklin! The park opened last year in 2006.


Stacey Greenberg said...

we were in little rock yesterday and they have a great skatepark on their river front. it was being used by *lots* of kids and seemed to have a good mix of features for all skill levels.

Aaron said...

We've been meaning to to go there for awhile and have not managed to. Did you get any pictures or plan on posting any on your blog? It sounds like it's a well put together river-front.

Stacey Greenberg said...

i didn't get any really good pictures but there is one on my blog that can give you a glimmer.

Stacey Greenberg said...

p.s. what is most interesting is that it is a very non commercial part of the river front and the adjacent neighborhood is nowhere near as nice as uptown. but yet there were people everywhere and it was getting lots of use

Aaron said...

I am not surprised by the amount of use that you witnessed at Little Rock. Almost every well-built park that I have visited has consistently been close to packed. I think the best example is in Alameda California near Oakland. There is a skatepark located on an abandoned Navy base- built absolutely in the middle of nowhere and then the city bus come by and drops off these city-kids and bam it's packed!

That's the message I have been telling the RDC and the Hyde foundation. They get it ! But honestly as you know seeing is truly believing. They're going to be blown away if we actually are able to construct a park that is 3-4 times bigger then the one you saw. I am stoked you saw the impact first hand, but then again you've probably seen this before since your spouse skateboards. Maybe we'll go this weekend to check out Little've inspired us!

Stacey Greenberg said...

cool! looking forward to a detailed post!