When I tell people I grew up near Greenspoint, they jokingly respond, "Oh, you mean Gunspoint?" Thing is, I'm old. Well, I'm not OLD old, but I'm old enough to have grown up in a neighborhood just north of Greenspoint Mall that was more like living in the country than in a demilitarized zone as it became when I was in my twenties. I can remember the land the mall was built on as a sheep pasture.
A lot has changed in my old hood as it is trying to remake itself after years throughout the '90s when it was given the Gunspoint label thanks to entire apartment complexes overrun by drugs and gangs. Many of those were plowed to the ground, but there are still enough inexpensive apartments around there that it has never quite shed the stigma.
Perhaps the country's biggest skate park will help.
According to Swamplot, a huge area north of Greenspoint off Kuykendahl (that's pronounced KIRK-en-dall for those not from around these parts) will be turned into the largest skate park in the U.S. with some 72,000 feet of concrete and a $5.5 million price tag. The Greenspoint District Web site has this:
The unique design includes a world-class competition-scale Texas bowl featuring a full pipe, 12-foot vert ramp, 10-foot bowl, banked walls and speed hips, plus a couple of backyard-style pools and three beginner/intermediate/advanced flow bowls. A section designed to emulate the street-skating experience will have ledges, rails, benches, banks, quarter pipes and stair obstacles, providing fun and creative challenge for skaters of all levels and interests.
A second aspect to the recreational complex, the park without limits, is generating excitement in the world of special needs youth. Called Dylan's Park, after an area child who was severely injured and later died from child abuse, this section of the facility will have areas designed to engage children who are sight impaired, hearing impaired, autistic or wheelchair-bound. Dylan's Park will also include open grassy areas for unstructured play, and the facility will be completely fenced.
Anything is better than cops chasing gun-wielding robbers through your front yard, but nothing like that ever happened at my house, of course.