Thursday, September 15, 2011

Living European with Dogs: Sitting in Squares

One of the biggest things we noticed when we were traveling was how well Europeans use common space. Everywhere we went there would be a 'Square' where people would gather, even well into the night, eating, people watching, or just sitting.
Of course, most of the squares had some kind of water feature, statue or monument. But the cities definitely felt alive having so many people gathering in one common space.
In Chicago we have a couple of squares, and when we lived near Lincoln Square the square was actually integral to Miss M's CGC training. I used to take her there to practice sit-stays and down-stays among all of the distractions. We love this quaint little square with its ornate lampposts, fountain, and German restaurants.
This also inspired us to check out the square in Logan Square. We picked up some Orangina and fresh baguettes from La Boulangerie and spent the afternoon just sitting. There is a huge monument in the center, and we decided to dine there. It kind of reminded us of Rome where everyone just lounges allover--even sitting on the lion sculptures.
And of course, there's our current standby Wicker Park with its flower gardens, big fountains, and nearby Big Star tacos. The park packs in so much in a tiny space, but plenty of great photo opps. 
I think since most of us don't have our own backyards, these types of common spaces are really important. Do other cities have these types of common spaces? And Chicago people--any other squares that we're missing?

16 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing pictures of Mr. B and Miss M. I love how close Mr B is to E as they sit on the bench. Such good buddies!

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

We love just sitting, reading, eating and chatting! Madison Square Park is right by us - and thats what we use it for!

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

I love the feeling of community you get from a public gathering place. I have to go out of my way to experience that, since we're basically stuck in the woods. But every once in a while I'll drive the dogs down to our little port city and chill in the square. Also, like with Miss M, it's a great spot to practice obedience with distractions!

goosie mama said...

Beautiful photos!!

loveandaleash said...

We have a few spaces like this in DC-- Dupont Circle has a fountain at the center and is always packed with people and dogs, just chatting, having picnics, reading books, people-watching. Meridian Hill Park is also amazing, it has the look of an old Italian fountain, cascading down through the center of the park, with little winding passageways, arched gates, and grassy, shaded areas to sit for a picnic or a nap.

Sarah said...

We don't have a lot of squares a la Europe here in the Portland but we do have tons of parks. I miss living in bigger cities and having those types of public spaces to people watch!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

There are few places like that in the area, but I admit we don't go to them too often. I love that you guys have so many places like this to go.

Kitty+Coco said...

Well, in Birmingham, Alabama, we only have this incrdibly creepy monument of a goat reading to other creepy statues. Let's just say we stay away. Not many others to choose from, but we have an awesome dog park and festivals just for dogs.

Kitty+coco

Kari in Vegas said...

I miss the town squares I used to hang out in in Germany

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

waldobungie said...

On the Plaza in KC there is a huge fountain that people gather by in the spring and summer to hang out. I'd never thought of taking the dogs there but we did take some wedding photos there! :)

Kristine said...

That's what my city is missing! There is only one square that I am aware of in downtown Halifax and I don't think I have ever taken my dog there to hang out. I used to eat my lunch there on nice days. Now that I am thinking of it, I kind of miss it.

Benny and Lily said...

Very cool. Checked out Seattle...super duper doggie friendly except mom didn't bring us
Benny & Lily

kissa-bull said...

as usual the pictures are amazing and the pooches adorabull

Tucker The Crestie said...

We have very limited opportunities for things like this, which is why we love Hyde Park Village,which is within walking distance of the house and a great place to just go and spend time just hanging out and being neighborly.

Corbin said...

I love that first picture of Mr. B & E!
-Corbin
ps. I left you an award on my blog today :o)

A Wonderful Dogs Life said...

You are so lucky. Our parks do not allow doggies :( BAD Parks, BAD!!

Ms. M and Mr. B look so happy. Your parks are very nice with the waterfront, fountains, and sculptures and the bestest part of all they are doggie friendly.

Emma

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