Hiele - Stadspark - ElMuelle1931

Hiele - Stadspark

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Universal Exports / Belgium / 2020

(Mint/ NM)

Antwerp’s Stadspark: a once-thriving triangular cruising ground,  and still an occasional recreation site. These days, however, the only flash you are likely to get is that of a police badge.
Linger on a bench too long and brave the consequences; to fester at home is best. But the animals just proliferate. Unwanted domestic pets – gerbils, rabbits, mice – dumped in the night in Logan’s Run; no one knows how and when this unsavoury practice was begun. To his astonishment, The Administrator once reported seeing a raven swoop clean from the trees and scoop up a guinea pig in its claws. The guinea pig was not heard from again. Reborn real estate: in the bushes, militant structures don sportswear shades, and a club scuppered by arson emerges as a generic phoenix – the Grand Café Capital. That chip on the shoulder of second cities. Not to deny the park its stately airs: fin-de-siècle street lamps, precious steel suspension bridge and the whole beguilingly prehistoric as seagulls soar and light irradiates the lake.
Desiccated one summer, pumped artificially after protest, sans the resident black swans. A former fortress now offering fourteen hectares of jogging excellence. The playground is cordoned off with crime tape.