One of my favorite places on earth and a great example of successful urban planning is Lynch Park in my hometown of Beverly, MA. Fond memories of riding my banana seat bike there back in the days when you could disappear from your parents all day are bittersweet.
I loved this place so and still miss it.
The Park holds two beaches, a playground, a spooky rose garden watched over by witches, a band shell, and, of course, a concession stand. Many a French fry and ice cream sandwich were had.
I frequented the second beach more than the first due to a long path that reaches out for what seems like miles into the ocean during low tide. Finding sand dollars on the beach, snails on and crabs under barnacle ridden rocks was unendingly entertaining.
My mother, when in attendance, preferred a spot on a beach chair in front of the band shell when concerts were held, especially during the Homecoming Week in late summer when all our friends and neighbors would be there as well for…LOBSTER FEST! Corn on the cob and lob-stah to the strains of Bach anyone?
And of course, the bewitched rose garden, which I found more exciting than the playground. “Whoever enters here let him beware—For he shall nevermore escape nor be free of my spell”. YIKES! After braving the entrance with whatever ritual made you safe that day, you had lions to ride, benches to climb, paths to roam, flowers to smell, and a gazebo to commandeer.
The Falconer is right outside of the garden, additional protection from some “Double, double toil and trouble”. Honestly, I didn’t pay him too much mind as a kid and his role is actually as a symbol of home and memories of good times had at Lynch Park. But hey, he can be both things in an adult’s imagination, right?