In our continuing search for Things To Do With The Dog in Montgomery, we headed off to Powder Magazine Park. The drive there was not promising – after turning over the freeway, the neighborhood was desolate and unforgiving, populated only by a strange guy walking in circles in a glass-filled parking lot and a variety of sketchy characters wandering nonchalantly into vacant alleys. This is the drive down Bell Street. You turn right on Eugene to get to the park, at the faded horror movie-esque sign that promises “River Cruises.”
This is the last thing you see before the fencing, razor wire, and row upon row of abandoned housing units. Welcome to Riverside Heights. It used to be public housing; now, after a swap with the U.S. Air Force, it’s federal property.They don’t seem to have done anything to improve the joint, as the wasted tiendas across Eugene Street and cross-building graffiti reading “NO COPPER” demonstrate. There are no river cruises.
The Riverside Heights projects are dead. They are, in fact, scary. The abandoned corpses of this old housing project probably prevents anyone from ever moving into this area.
The Powder Magazine Park itself is inaccessible. Looks through the fence like it wasn’t that much more than a collection of gazebos and a boat ramp, although it’s hard to tell from the only vantage we could get. We were left with a peculiar feeling, a special Montgomery feeling, like we had come for a scenic green riverside park and left with the images of a post-apocalyptic abandoned housing project.