In Part One of my review of Riga’s Mārupīte creek, I documented the course from its sources to Maras Dikis Pond. In Part Two, we follow the creek out of the pond as it flows to its mouth at the Daugava River.
Parks Arkadijas Darzs
In comparing Riga to New York, I consider Bastejkalns as its Central Park, and both cities have a Forest Park. If the neighborhoods of Pardaugava (left bank of Daugava) are Riga’s answer to NYC’s outer boroughs, then Parks Arkadijas Darsz (Arcadian Garden Park) must be Kissena Park. Both parks feature hilly terrain, Victorian landscaping, and a creek flowing through its grounds.
The waterway that started my fascination with hidden urban streams is the 2.5-mile Mārupīte on the eastern side of Riga, my birthplace city. This was the stream that I’ve known since birth.
The scene above is with my mother at Arcadian Park (Arkādijas Parks) where the Mārupīte flows through an Olmstedian landscape a couple of blocks from my grandparents’ home.
Riga, Latvia, the city of my birth is an urban explorer’s dream. With more than 800 years of history, it has structures that represent the conquerors who ruled this city: the Teutonic Knights, the Poles, Swedes, Russians, Nazis, Soviets, and the independent Latvian state. Although the borders of the city cover 117 square miles, the urban core is relatively small. Most of the city is comprised of suburbs, tight apartment complexes along the periphery and virgin pine forests. Numerous hidden waterways flow throughout the city, some of which I had explored in my brief childhood in Riga.
One of them was a ditch that flowed near my father’s garden plot near Jaunmoku Iela in the Pleskodale neighborhood. Continue reading
What inspired me to write a book about the hidden waterways within New York City? Read on… (more…)