Monday, April 13, 2009

Six Great Places to Visit In New Britain - Part 4


Stanley Quarter Park is located on Stanley Street close to the CCSU campus. I grew up a few blocks away and spent a great deal of time there as a kid and I still do today. This park offers something special for people of all ages.

The main features of the park are: a large pond that has paddle boat rides during the summer and also has a fishing derby once a year in april, a walking/jogging path around the pond with exercise stations and swinging benches for relaxing, several tennis courts, a large hill for sledding during the winter, a large playground for kids, a soccer field ringed by a 1/4 mile jogging path, three baseball diamonds, and a skateboard park. There is also a huge fireworks display every 4th of July.

As a kid my friends and I would ride our bmx bikes to the park and spend the whole afternoon there. We would build jumps in the woods that we could launch our bmx bikes off. When we got bored with that we would try to catch crayfish in the pond or try fishing for huge goldfish. When the sun started to set or we saw the street lights coming on we knew it was time for dinner and we would all peddle home usually covered in mud and our parents would always be angry for getting so filthy.

During the winter the pond would freeze and we would all go ice skating. I remember doing more falling rather than actual ice skating but it was always fun. All of the kids from the neighborhood would meet up and we would try to have a game of hockey. Some of us had real hockey sticks and some of just had a regular stick that we found on the ground. We would place a couple large rocks that we could find about four feet apart to make a goal. After a couple years of that we created a game we called "wockey" which was a combination of wrestling and hockey. We would basically just beat the hell out of each other and we loved every minute of it. Boys will be boys.

When spring rolled around it was time for baseball. I played my first little league game at Stanley Quarter Park. Baseball was serious business in my house so me and my dad spent an exceptional amount of time there practicing hitting, catching, and throwing. I developed my skills there as a kid and went on to be an all-conference baseball player in high school and was offered a couple scholarships to play ball in college.

Today I spend a lot of time at the park with my niece Madelyn. We walk around the pond and talk about whatever is on her mind. She loves to go to every exercise station and give it a try. We watch the other people and she asks me questions about everything around her. I try my best to answer every question and be a good uncle. I hope she ends up having the same positive memories about Stanley Quarter Park as I do.

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