Thursday, July 5, 2012

Memory Lane...or Renovations (Update--photos!)

The kids and I took a bus trip to our old neighborhood in Turin.  I took them to 3 of the parks we used to visit daily when we lived there.  Julian was totally underwhelmed by it all.  Oh he loved the bus ride, no doubt about that, but the parks were so much smaller than he remembered.

This chestnut tree used to be so much bigger!
The first park we visited was under construction when we moved away.  It's an old villa on a large, choice piece of land.  The city owns it now and the villa is a library.  Quite a while before we moved, they started construction on a new wing.  A large chunk of the park was blocked off for construction materials and workers, resulting in a large corrugated metal wall all around the work.  Julian remembers walking for "kilometers" along the wall to get to a playground that is now directly accessible from the front of the park.  He couldn't believe it was the same thing.

I'm happy to say the new addition is quite nice looking--mostly made of glass.  It's not very big or elaborate, it seems odd it took so long to build, but what do I know?  I'm also pleased that they've painted and made some repairs to the original library.  And, finally, they've really jazzed up an old outbuilding (maybe the garage) to turn it into a library for periodicals.  It looks very fancy.  I will update this site with photos when I get around to it.

Periodicals library
A new sculpture since we've been gone
Entrance to the library.  The rose bushes used to be bigger, too...really!

Within this particular park there is a merry-go-round.  I remember Julian riding it MANY times and I remember him begging to ride it even more.  The funny thing is, he didn't even remember it's existence!  He did remember plenty of other things about the park, though, so it's not like he was too young.  He was three and Veronica was 8 months old when we moved so I didn't expect her to remember a thing.  Everything was new and exciting to her!

We also visited a park where we probably spent most of our time since it was closest to home and right across the street from a grocery store I frequented regularly.  The park still had all the same toys in it, but they were in slightly worse shape.  Julian was kind of disgusted at the state of this park.  Admittedly it is small and there was not a single other kid there, but there are a lot of nice shade trees and plenty of benches in the shade, which is what really matters to moms!
I couldn't NOT go into my old grocery store.  I was pleasantly surprised that it had been updated in the seven years since we moved away.

We also took a peek at the highrise where we used to live.  It is being renovated!  The balconies are getting a much needed coat of paint.  The side of the building where I used to hang my laundry to dry is completely covered in scaffolding now.

We visited two other parks, one we used to go to and another one a little bit out of the way of all my daily meanderings back then.  Veronica had fun at every park, Julian not so much--he just wanted to move on, to see something else.

In the current state of the economy, I was very surprised to see that most of the businesses have stayed the same from when we used to live there.  There have been very few changes and there aren't any empty storefronts, which is really good.  I didn't see any signs of economic crisis, thankfully, and for the most part, things looked even better than when we left in 2005.  All but one of the playgrounds (the one we never went to) are a little bit worse for wear--same old toys as before, but the one least frequented had been improved a lot.  Maybe Julian would have wanted to go there more since all the toys were spaceship-themed.

I think once the kids are back in school, I'll take the bus there again and re-explore the old 'hood.  It's a direct bus and only takes an hour.  I did like living there except it was incredibly hot in the summer.  I can do without all the playgrounds...there's plenty of great shopping to be done around there!


  1. Thanks for the memories. I look forward to seeing some pictures. I can't believe it's been that long since you moved!

  2. I love the lamp post sculpture.