From a transcript of an interview recorded for a Simon Fraser University research project, on public gardens in the Strathcona neighborhood.
…Lorraine-I have a couple more questions about parks. Is photo 1 a park to you? (Gore Avenue Linear Park)
Max-Sure, there’s a bench.
Mark- it’s looking down on Dunlevy? Yeah, so this is Prior, way down there.
Max-It’s a bit of a park. There’s too much car traffic. I wouldn’t want to sit there just because there’s so many cars going by. Although, Dunlevy, I don’t know, is this Gore or Dunlevy?
Mark-This is Chinatown on this side…
Max-Gore’s that last one before Main Street, I think.
Mark-Okay, that would probably be Keefer.
Lorraine-Do you think it feels like a neighborhood park?
Max-I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen anyone hanging out there, if they weren’t just too wasted to continue on their journey.
Mark-Generally, it’s a place where people kind of rest and recuperate. Occasionally, there’s a little old lady feeding ducks at the lower end of that.
Max-It serves a definite purpose because people who are too drunk to continue can at least be in the shade. I’ve seen a couple of people who are too inebriated pass out in the sun and just be like totally injured, sunburned by just lying out in the pavement for however many hours. A shady spot for them to fall out of people’s way, out of traffic, it’s a good thing. It’s not a place where I would go to set up for a picnic because it’s a totally busy area, and the sight lines are open, so you have no privacy. Which at the same time gives it more of a security feel or whatever.
Lorraine-who do you think should receive priority when it comes to parks in Strathcona: local residents, city, or region wide users?
Max-The local residents every time.
Mark-I’d have to agree. A park is for people… a park is used generally, unless it is a beautiful park that people come from miles to see. A park is used by the people in the neighborhood.
Max-Especially the smaller parks, little neighborhood parks are definitely more…
Mark-At this point…nah, forget it.
Lorraine-Are you sure?
Mark-Well, I was going to say that the band we are in is named after a park in the Strathcona area.
Lorraine-Oh yeah, tell me about that.
Max-Jason and I were playing basketball at Capozzi Park, or what I believe is Capozzi Park. There’s no official sign, but some children’s day care, not daycare, but one of those things you send your kids to in the summer because there’s no school but you don’t want to be taking care of them, so you send them to things in the morning… day camp or something like that. They painted graffiti on the boards around the basketball court, which is also a hockey rink. They painted on the sideboards “Capozzi Park” and we were there playing basketball. Some kids from this group painted it, as well as doing a bunch of other graffiti that later teenagers came and wrote different vulgarities on top of. They’ve since painted over those sections, which is too bad, because they were still kind of interesting: kind of a bizarre juxtaposition. But “Capozzi Park” was written in huge letters along one end, and I’m like, ‘That’s a good name for our band that we’re having trouble finding a name for’. It’s like, so local. It’s the place where we..
Max-Linearly and multilaterally…
Mark-… and enjoy ourselves, so we’ve named the band after this park.
Max-It wasn’t a strong arm tactic.
Mark-He suggested it, and everyone agreed. No, I was talking about your frolics.
Lorraine-Either linearly or…swervingly… So you go there a lot?
Mark-I don’t personally. I’m not a sports person, so I don’t, really.
Max-The park is mainly these basketball hoops. There’s also an area for children to play. There’s kind of like a jungle gym-ey kind of thing. Some of our friends with children, they would say kids have somewhere to play…(?)
Mark-The one at the south end of what they call “the Projects” here, on Campbell.
Max-You go down Campbell right by Union, so it’s actually between Raymur and Campbell, on Union.
Mark-You can see it from Adanac.
Max-That’s what we think is called Capozzi Park, but nobody knows for sure. Apparently, somebody named Capozzi, an Italian mafioso, what do you call it, city councilor? It’s named after him.
Mark-Let me just correct: there is no evidence of ‘mafioso’.
Mark-He was a Socred M.L.A.
Max-Yeah, that’s like Mafia.
Mark-In the Bill Bennett government.
Lorraine-Don’t worry, you’re anonymous.
Max-Yeah, I’m anonymous except for the name of the band! (laughs)
Lorraine-Don’t worry, I’ll give it a pseudonym.
Max-I’m not worried. Oh no, you can give it whatever..
Mark-Say we’re actually Bark.
Max-Just some other band.
Lorraine-Do you feel different levels of attachment to parks in Strathcona? For example, MacLean Park versus Strathcona Park versus Capozzi Park?
Max-Yeah, MacLean Park, we go to all the time, throw footballs around, lie out in the grass. I play soccer at the one, I don’t know what it’s called, on the other side of Prior, there’s a big park with the community garden.
Max-We play soccer there, and go on swings, and sometimes I play tennis with Jason if I feel like getting whupped. There’s a number of parks in the neighborhood that we get a fair bit of use out of.
Lorraine-Some of them you use more than others?
Max-Definitely. The strip park along Gore, we would never use.
Mark-Unless you were really drunk.
Max-Unless I was too drunk to continue. Yes, and then I would appreciate the shade, and because of the open sight lines there is probably less urinating going on there than in amongst the alleys, so it’s a relatively safe place to pass, for people and their (?)…
Lorraine-Do you feel more attached to some parks than others?
Mark-I like MacLean Park quite a bit.
Max-The one with the brand new water park….
(much later on)
Lorraine-That’s about all I’ve got. I was just going to ask you some personal, demographic questions. Are you guys working?
Max-Yes full time: Skytrain construction.
Lorraine-Working full time?
Lorraine-Well, you’re both guys, I can tell.
Mark-I’ll do my pants back up.
Max-Excellent. Thank you.
Lorraine-How would you describe yourselves?
Mark-We should do each other, actually, that would be best. Hmmm. Cheapo Anarchist?
Max-Cheapo? I’m not a cheapo.
Mark-No, you’re not a cheapo.
Max-You can’t call me a cheapo. (?) Anarchist, possibly, Anarchist Philanthropist.
Mark-That was something you said about:…philanthropic Anarchist, that’s good.
Max-He’s: bookish, brainy, overly sensitive.
Mark-I’m not overly sensitive.
Max-You are overly sensitive.
Mark-You always pull that crap.
Max-Because it offends you so much because you always get semi-hysterical.
Mark-I’m never speaking to you again.
Lorraine-Sorry to cause all this.
Max-Ah, it’s so wrong.
Mark-Take that back man…
Lorraine-How about status, class, personality?
Max-…class. We’re working class.
Lorraine-Okay That’s great. Did you have anything to add, or any questions or anything like that?
Max-No, I think we’ve gone over things pretty well.
Lorraine-Great. Thanks a lot for your time.
Max-You’re welcome, it was interesting.
Listen and preorder your copy of “The Record Of Capozzi Park” by Capozzi Park here .