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Park-life in Luxembourg

Park-life in Luxembourg

23.08.2013 From our online archive
In this week's Taking a Break feature, Wort columnist Dan Franch writes about the nicknames given to his family's favourite parks.

By Dan Franch

We’re in the thick of summer here in the Grand Duchy. If you’re still around and have kids, you probably spend a lot of time at parks. And there plenty of them. In fact, if you ask parents of young kids what is one of the best things about living in Luxembourg, they will say the parks. You can count me among those parents.

There are four we visit regularly, but we never call them by their proper names. Instead, we’ve given them pet names highlighting their distinguishing features.

There’s the duck park, the wood park, the pirate park, and “the one with the soccer pitch,” as my sons like to call the one at the bottom of Weimerskirch.

I suppose this renaming habit is a throwback to my days growing up. There were three main places where my friends and I played. One was simply known as “the park,” where we’d play baseball or tennis or a combination of the two. The other two were Honda Hills and Farmers Field. Honda Hills was just a large tract of dirt and some trees with rolling hills for biking alongside the train tracks. Now it’s an industrial park. As for Farmers Field, I’m not sure if it was one farmer or many farmers. Actually, I don’t think it was a field for farmers at all. There was a pond, lots of weeds and tall grass, and a small hill, but no corn or wheat or pigs. Now it’s a well-groomed reservoir to prevent flooding.

Nicknames are what gave those places life. They added a bit of personality and distinctness. I’m guessing my kids will feel the same when they grow up and look back on the parks here in Luxembourg. For sure they won’t remember such non-descript names as Parc Merl or Bambësch or Parc Municipal or Parc Laval. Rather, they’ll more readily recall these play areas thanks to the personal monikers we’ve given them.