Alright, fess up. Whodunnit?
Shortly after the city opened a playground at 35th and Woodlawn as recompense to the neighborhood for hosting a garbage dump … errr … Transfer Station, some anonymous vigilante took it upon themselves to dub the otherwise anonymous play area Dump Park.
Apparently, Apple Maps understands that there are lots of places and businesses out there that don’t have an established means of making it into their database, so they allow anyone to add a place or business to the official Apple Maps list of locations just by submitting a form. It seems this is occasionally an invitation to people to apply whatever name they fancy to otherwise unnamed landmarks, and Dump Park was born.
I’ve always thought that was a fine name, as it sort of “praised with faint damn”, to turn the old phrase on its head. Not all have agreed. Denis, for example, felt that it disparaged this sweet little playground:
Once more, I am assaulted by the misnomer “Dump Park.” Why must we put up with the misconception of cynics? The large facility across the street from the park is not a dump but a Transfer Station from which discards are moved to other facilities to be recycled. Nothing is left permanently in the Transfer Station to fester and corrode. However, this is a mere quibble. I have a more telling objection to the disgusting name of “Dump Park.” Language frames perceptions and value judgments. I challenge those who enjoy using this disparaging allusion to garbage to stand on Woodlawn Avenue and look east. Then they can enjoy the beautiful sight of the Aurora Avenue Bridge spanning the Ship Canal with the ascending trees of Queen Anne in the background. Like a series of paintings by Monet of his garden and house in Giverny, the bridge affords an array of views at different times and in different seasons. To reflect the real aesthetic value of the park, I suggest we refer to it as “Bridge View Park.
Elegantly and convincingly put. Now however, both “Bridge View Park” and Dump Park” take a back seat to to a new name you can find on both Google Maps and Apple Maps:
Kirby at FamilyWorks says he first thought Nohala sounded like it might be a Native American word, but after some squinting, he and Joey realized that it bears striking resemblance to a phrase that has appeared on yard signs throughout the neighborhoods over the past year:
HALA has prevailed, but Nohala Park endures, a memorial to cause lost.