Newcomers’ Guide 2016
NEW PORTLANDERS REJOICE! Your new home is a pantheon of public parks spanning 11,546 acres in 209 locations. But we know it’s not enough to just enjoy the parks! You have opinions! AND YOU MUST SHARE THEM. Well, worry not because you can review parks on Yelp. And yes, many of Portland’s parks have at least a handful of less-than-perfect evaluations. In the spirit of everyone being a critic, here are some of Portland’s worst park reviews to inform your adventures, and our responses to their authors.
Yelp reviews edited for length and clarity.
From Kimberly V.’s Yelp Review: It is a mean trick to situate your restrooms on top of a fairly steep hill when you know that you just can’t play kickball without hops and barley after the age of 10. It will also make you feel slightly sheepish once you reach the bathrooms because they are located next to the no-leash area for pooches.
The Mercury Responds: Kimberly V., we’re sorry that you drank too much beer while playing kickball and accidently peed on a stranger’s dog. In our experience, the bathrooms at Irving Park are quite nice.
From David M.’s Yelp Review: My boyfriend likes to take me here.... Did I say boyfriend? I meant my dog. My dog LOVES Laurelhurst, but for whatever reason people look at you funny if you let your dog run free. He’s chasing squirrels and jack rabbits, ignore him!
The Mercury Responds: David M, your review is accurate. Many boyfriends inhabit this park. Picnicking, sunbathing boyfriends. They are busy ignoring their girlfriends, hence the attention paid to your off-leash dog.
COLONEL SUMMERS PARK
From B.S.’s Yelp Review: Decent park, just unemployed hipsters plague the area. Bike jousting is mildly entertaining, if only for the fact that there’s potential for a hipster to be gored.
The Mercury Responds: B.S., we think the word you’re looking for is HIPPIES. Monday Funday at Colonel Summers Park attracts all kinds of slackliners, hula hoopers, hacky sackers, jugglers, and yes, the occasional bike joust. If those were hipsters, they’d be exchanging records, rocking overalls, and writing poems on their vintage typewriters.
From Wendy C.’s Yelp Review: Alberta Park—where parks and rec playground equipment goes to die. Amenities: Nike-funded covered basketball court, jogging trail, sports fields. Un-amenities: saddest, most rundown, squeakiest, rustiest mismatched playground equipment I’ve seen in Portland.
The Mercury Responds: Wendy C., modern “safe” playground equipment is contemptibly overrated. How will children learn if we spoil them with rubber mulch and padded slide landings? We say let them eat dirt and run their hands against the grain of some splinter-covered unfinished wood. It builds character!
MT. TABOR PARK
From Cindy O.’s Yelp Review: Portland is not as dog friendly as we had hoped. Dogs must be leashed pretty much everywhere, including here, save for a very small, awkwardly sloped, and not at all scenic off-leash area. Our dogs were bored and so were we.
The Mercury Responds: Cindy O., in our experience, dogs hate parks—so it’s easy to imagine yours being bored by this lackluster mountaintop. May we suggest getting your dog an iPad (or another dog’s poop to eat) to keep them entertained while you enjoy the awkward, un-scenic slope?