Last Thursday, our class went on an excursion to Chicano Park. Though I have seen the park in passing from the freeway a handful of times, I never thought too much about its location — my thoughts mostly went something like “wow, that looks so colorful and pretty”. Looking at the park from ground level was such a contrasting experience. While the park was just as beautiful and colorful, it was impossible for me to ignore the big gray freeway cutting through the park.
Based on the readings we did before our visit, I learned that when the freeway was first constructed, the area below it (what is now Chicano Park) was supposed to be a CHP office, but the people of Barrio Logan refused to let more police presence fill their neighbor. Out of that resistance came Chicano Park. I think it is interesting to think of the park as not only a past place of resistance, but even as an ongoing one. The place is where the community can gather and be and sometimes, just being is enough.