Where Will the Children Play?

96E8558A-D817-41FA-9CC2-CE9B05ECCA71My blogging buddy, Jim Adams, in addition to his own blog, hosts the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge on alternate weeks. For this week’s Music Challenge, Jim focuses on the Cat Stevens song from 1970, “Where Do the Children Play.”

This song has a special meaning for me. When I was in graduate school at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., I was taking an urban planning course. Our term paper assignment was to explore an urban neighborhood in the city and write our paper about the challenges that neighborhood was facing from an urban planning perspective.

I chose the Adams Morgan section. It’s a diverse, multicultural neighborhood in the heart of the city. Back then, when I wrote my paper — I think it was 1974 or 1975 — it was a neighborhood in transition. A lot of new restaurants, many of them ethnic, were opening and the there was a “gentrification” process underway. That led to rent and property value increases, as well as new development.

Looking back, I don’t remember much of what I wrote in my paper, although I do remember getting an A on it. But the one thing I do clearly remember was coming across a large, vacant lot that was once a playground behind a school. The school was set for demolition and there was a huge sign just outside of the fenced in lot that read, “Coming Soon: Luxury High-Rise Condominiums to be Built on this Site.”

Someone had painted graffiti on a blank, brick wall facing into the vacant lot. It said, “Tell me where will the children play?”Music Challenge Large

10 thoughts on “Where Will the Children Play?

  1. Marilyn Armstrong September 20, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    That is forever the problem in cities and it is becoming the same problem in the suburbs. In the suburbs, everyone is sure their child is about to be snatched — or heaven forbid, have thoughts that mom doesn’t check our before the kid says something someone might disapprove of.

    Out here, fortunately, there’s lots of places to play. Poisonous, but open.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor September 20, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    Your post made me smile, even though I know that you were not trying to be humorous. This is a serious issue that will probably just keep on getting worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. msjadeli September 20, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Fandango, I very much enjoyed reading your essay. Where, indeed?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje September 20, 2019 / 5:43 pm

    And the situation is worse now with so much development going on in major cities.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje September 20, 2019 / 10:33 pm

        Yes, exactly. We are driven only by gain. No altruistic politicians or planners are going to think for our betterment.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen September 21, 2019 / 9:57 am

    And they get tax breaks for building on those area… now at least (I don’t know yes or no then).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 September 22, 2019 / 9:43 pm

    They are stepping up here in town and putting in an all inclusive playground that will be wheelchair accessible. Good post Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

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