I have a great affinity for abandoned places and for imagining what they must've been like in their primes. Even the most mundane building can take on a sense of sadness and importance once left abandoned. No longer just a structure, it's becomes a relic of a lost time. A memory neglected; it's original purpose lost to time.
For over a hundred years, dating back to 1847, Rocky Point Park, with it's beautiful view of the Narragansett Bay, was the focal point for fun of every kind. Concerts and galas were held here. Kids played carnival games while their adventures older friends and siblings rode the rollercoasters and waterslides. Politicians gave speeches here.
But all things must end, and in 1995, on an especially rainy and gloomy day, the attractions and memorabilia were auctioned off, and the park closed forever.
Twenty years later, not much remains other than the sky tram cable, and the iconic arched entry gate. Here and there are concrete foundations and steps that lead to nothing, but mostly now it's just grass. What was one a huge waterfront restaurant is now but a smattering of broken support poles, jutting from the water's edge.
While we were standing atop the hill where the sky tram once made its turn, a father recounted his days at the park to his disbelieving kids.
Dad: Right over there was the corkscrew... and over there was the flume. Used to be a huge slide you could go down.
Kids: Is this all there is now?
Dad: Yeah... I guess so.
There was something beautiful and romantic about the listening to a firsthand account of the experience and hearing to the nostalgia in the father's voice-- the memories he had there flooding back to him all at once.
What was once a park filled with carnival music and laughter and the roar of the corkscrew coaster is now quiet and serene. No longer a destination for youths, it lives on as but a halcyon place to reminisce on changing times, and the inevitability of growing up.