Playground “Foundation” in Park Renovation

One day they were digging a hole where the playground equipment will go and then another adding big rocks. I thought to myself that the rocks were to help with water drainage underneath dirt they will put on top of them. Then another surprise! They put gravel over the rocks which will help even more with the water drainage, but children playing on gravel? Well, it seems to be a very fine gravel which will not hurt the child who falls on it and of course grass could never grow on an active playground! So it is looking good and hopefully my next update will be photos of the playground equipment. I’m expecting something contemporary and hopefully it will not be concrete like everything else built so far! 🙂 Here’s three progressive photos for this report . . .

A hole filled with rocks for drainage in Playground Area of new Atenas Central Park.
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A Little More on the Park

Well, with the park employees themselves having to do all the work on the Central Park remodeling, I guess Atenas will just have to resign itself to a multi-years effort that will continue to have slow reveals like this. 🙂

I snapped these two cellphone shots last Friday, 22 April 2022 of the guys working on another sidewalk in the northwest corner and they have another little social circle completed along with places to plant flowers (we all hope)! Maybe when they finish all the sidewalks they will plant flowers and open this corner to reveal what now looks like a multi-colored ATENAS sign. Read about it first on this blog! 🙂 Here’s the 2 images from last Friday , , ,

Making another sidewalk in the northwest corner of Atenas Central Park.
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Central Park Entrance Plaza?

In today’s “tiny update” on the renovation of Atenas Central Park, I’m revealing something that I suspected earlier but was not in the architect’s drawings. This northwest corner of the park is the first park sighting visitors will have if they come into Central Atenas from Highway 3, Alajuela or anywhere north of Atenas (thanks to one-way streets) and is thus a good spot to welcome visitors to Central Park at 0 Street and 1st Avenue. Those coming from Highway 27, the beach/San Jose expressway will see the park first on the other side by the central Catholic Church on Central Avenue (0 Avenue) at 1st Street.

In my first photo you see that lines lead from the corner to a concrete structure of steps/seats that could seat a whole tour bus load of tourists for a group photo. On top of that, now covered in black plastic wrap, are six large cutout letters spelling A T E N A S. From my peek on the other side they are a bright red that look like plastic or metal from a distance. And if you look closely in the photo you see that along the top of the concrete structure, carved into it and painted white, is the promotional slogan of Atenas, “El Mejor Clima del Mundo.” or in English: “The Best Weather in the World.”

Incidentally, this corner of park is across the street from the city hall! 🙂 One taxi driver told me it was the fault of the current mayor that the park is progressing so slowly. 🙂 I think it is because of a lack of money and thus all work is being done by city employees, usually just 2 or 3 workers at a time. Covid affected every budget and every activity!

Hopefully there will soon be a lot of landscaping in and around this corner feature! It will certainly be the most photographed corner of the park! 🙂

Entrance Plaza on NW Corner of Atenas Central Park.

Read on for two more photos of the above from behind . . .

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Park Remodeling Inches Along

I know they are slow, very slow! But they now have a little wall, a stack of concrete that I’m guessing will hold the 3-D letters for ATENAS (that everyone will be photographed by) and in the 4th month on this corner, they now have a multi-colored sidewalk around the above. I sure hope they are putting plants or gardens behind that wall! 🙂 See more below and my continuing Photo Gallery Remodeling Central Park Atenas. And I’m not complaining about the slowness because I like what they do! 🙂 Now here’s today’s shots (on the 26th):

Northwest Corner of Central Park Atenas
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Chainsaw Massacre Across the Street

Last February I wrote a blog post titled “Tree by the Pasture” featuring one of my favorite trees, plus it is (was) across the street from my house in a vacant lot beside the houses on the edge of the cow pasture. Well I was quite troubled the other day when I heard a chain saw continuing most of the day Monday and continuing on Tuesday and went over to see what was happening, fearing they would take down that beautiful tree to build another ugly house, which is what they seem to be doing.

Well, below are my photos of the following 2 days of their chainsaw massacre. Will they leave the ugly stub or eventually level it?

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Central Park Renovation

On September 25 I reported that work is being done on the northwest corner of the park that people from the city hall were out observing and discussing then, but I’ve not seen a lot since then with the gate closed on all of my walks by there since. with one taxista telling me it was the section devoted to the county or canton. Peeking through the fence crack or shooting over the fence I have only the below photos to show. Like always, slow progress.

First they leveled the ground and removed plants, other objects.

Now they are constructing something for seating maybe?

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“And now you know…the rest of the story.”

Only people my age remember Paul Harvey and his feature news stories he called “The Rest of the Story.” And just like then, sometimes there is more to a story than what you first read . . . including my stories and blog posts.

On October 9 I had a post titled Progress? (my second time to use that title I realized later.) And the premise both times was that big business is coming into our quaint little farming town, tearing down family houses to build modern, commercial buildings, ruining the character of our little town. Well . . . I deep down know better than to make assumptions like that when I don’t know all the facts, but trying to be idealistic I did it anyway and was wrong.

WHAT I DID WRONG: I posted my photo of the nice new modern office building between two family houses and declared that the house that had been there probably raised several families and now that family thing is gone and made more difficult for the two houses left on either side of the big new modern office building. Much of that I just implied.

MY HAND WAS CALLED: A few days later I received a friendly but firm correction to my story from a lady whose husband was in the second generation of children to grow up in that house they just tore down to build an office building for the business she and her husband started when they were married. She explained that the house was old and riddled with termites and was going to have to be torn down anyway, plus (as I did say in my story) that whole street is rapidly becoming commercial anyway. She went on to say that if the grandparents were still living they would be very pleased with what their grandchildren decided to do with the old house they had built and keep the property in the family.

After I apologized, she gave another very kind response to my response. But the best way to see is read the comments at the end of the post Progress?

Me and my big mouth! Maybe I will be more careful in the future, at least for awhile! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Another “Sort of a Bridge”

When a concrete culvert goes under a street I don’t think you call it a bridge, but if you add a sidewalk and railing overlooking the stream it kind of looks like a bridge! 🙂

We have a lot of these in Atenas and they just recently widened this one on Calle 3 near that new building I showed the other day. Another rainy season storm drain looks like a scenic mountain stream, almost. 🙂

My Atenas Galleries

¡Pura Vida!


I’ve shared this kind of photo from Atenas before and it continues as one by one a traditional house with front porch, front and back yards (called gardens or terraces here), and all the signs of having raised one or more families over the year – boom! The house is torn down and occasionally modern apartments or more often now a business is built in its place. Since Diacsa is a construction company here, I assume that this will be their offices with what looks like a drive-through and place to park construction equipment behind it?

On either side of this attractive modern office building still stand traditional, spanish-influenced single-family houses that will of course never be the same now. The price of progress? Maybe. Or just the modern world we live in wherever it may be world-wide. I can’t help but remember similar progress during those years in Serekunda, The Gambia and yes, even in Nashville, Tennessee where I for a while lived in a modern row house where old traditional houses used to stand. World-wide!

This new building here is on Calle 3, just two blocks from Central Park and already this old residential street has many businesses and offices of all kinds, so it is likely to continue to become more commercial while our little farming town of what was not long ago around 5,000 people now has more than 8,000 and is becoming a distant suburb of the big cities of Alajuela & San Jose (where some residents work) + a magnet for foreign retirees (like me) with its claim of “The best weather in the world!” (¡El Mejor clima del mundo!).

Even little, natural Costa Rica succumbs to progress and with mixed emotions for some of us. But yes, I’m glad I live in a modern house with all the modern conveniences in a very nice development on the edge of downtown Atenas (because I can still walk to town!). 🙂 But I also cherish being close to nature and away from the big city of San Jose (an hour+ away). And best of all for my retirement lifestyle, living in the center of the country means I can easily travel to nature reserves and national parks all over Costa Rica. Plus my garden and neighborhood still have a lot of nature, birds, butterflies, etc. And it is close enough to town that I walk and do not own a car! Doing my little part in fighting climate change! The best of both worlds for me! 🙂 I love it here, progress or not! 🙂

POSTSCRIPT: See the conversation with the building owner below in the COMMENTS. And how I now see that this “house replacement” building truly is progress as told by one who grew up as a child in that house! I jumped to conclusions on thinking about progress as negative and truly such changes can be very good.

My Atenas Galleries

¡Pura Vida!