The Hague of yore

It used to be a famous and popular haven for yachts sailing up and down the east coast, but then the Brambleton Bridge was built, and built too low for the yachts to get under it, and the Hague then allowed to silt in.

The Hague around the turn of the twentieth century:


The Hague today — silted-in and far from pristine

Forget about swimming or even wading in it. This does not look good! Most of the Hague seems appetizing enough, but at its ends, particularly the embarrassing one at the entrance to the prestigious Chrysler Museum of Art... Norfolk City Government, have you no shame? Please clean up this mess. How many tourists have taken photos of this home for gasps and laughs?


Norfolk's Toilet Bowl — The Hague

"Mommy, where does all that trash in The Hague come from?"

Well, it flows out of the storm water pipes that empty into The Hague. On the other end of those pipes are the storm water drains you see on city streets. In other words, all that crap from the streets empties into The Hague.There are many ways to prevent this, as suggested by the EPA, but the City of Norfolk has not employed any of them.

"Yuck! Right in front of the famous museum? Grab the camera, Irma. They ain't gonna believe this back in Ioway."


Stone Park, at the other, "tidier" end of The Hague:


Next to the footbridge over The Hague. Trash soup, anyone?


Floating litter, mid Hague — the stuff seems to wash from one end to the other:



Overflowing trash cans

The prompt emptying of trash cans on the banks of The Hague — another City Government responsibility shirked?

This can't help:


Putting your yard waste in them doesn't help either:


The Perennial Poop Problem

Everyone loves the geese, but our feathered Canadian friends are messy. But rather than murder them all, as some cities would surely opt to do, why not simply have someone clean up after them? Heck, we do the same for our dogs — or, at least, responsible dog owners do.

Can you say Department of Public Poop Procurement?


And don't forget all the doggie poop — because not all dog owners are responsible:


Smokers and Butts

Imagine yourself sitting on a park bench smoking away as you gaze upon the tranquil waters of The Hague. Then imagine tossing your spent cigarette butt and/or filter on the ground, even though there's a trash receptacle sitting right there next to you. Do you realize cigarette filters are composed of a kind of plastic that is not readily biodegradable? Stop smoking and littering!

Maybe they care more about their teeth than their lungs:

(no butts were touched in the making of this photo)


Oh, look, the City does care — sometimes:

Somebody at the museum got the idea from somewhere to bring a big rubber duck to the Hague back in 2014. The Norfolk City Government even sent guys out to tidy up for the occasion. Ain't that the way it always goes? Day to day you let things slide: don't vacuum enough, hardly dust, let the flotsam and jetsam and sludge accumulate, but let some distant relation from the Netherlands, whom you've never even met before, call and say he's coming to town, and suddenly it's spruce-up city:


But does the City really care?

Even tho the City of Norfolk considers that narrow strip of land around The Hague (between it and the sidewalk) a public "park," it rarely, if ever, cleans it:

But unlike other local parks, in which the City removed the park benches to discourage the homeless from squatting on them, the City was thoughtful enough to leave the benches on banks of The Hague (tho not those in Stone Park at the west end of The Hague, one of the now-benchless parks):


A brilliant neighborhood action idea?

Since the Norfolk City Government doesn't seem to be up to the clean-up task, the people who live around the Hague could all pitch in and privatize the solution. Why not hire some Doody Calls type outfit (yes, apparently some people pay other people to come around and pick up their own dog poop out of their own yards) to come around periodically and pick up the wayward human droppings?

Or better still, the people who live on Mowbray Arch could pick up the stuff that washes up in front of their houses. After all, they're supposed to mow the grass in the verge (the narrow atrip between sidewalk and street) next to their houses, so why not pick up some litter, too?


Since the City is doing nothing, incredibly energetic and heroic citizens with kayaks, canoes, etc. might want to collect this sort of thing:


The "love lock" blight on the bridge

The most obnoxious thing about this form of litter/vandalism is that responsible citizens cannot simply pluck the unsightly rusting locks off the bridge and dispose of them. Instead they must lug around visegrip pliers (enough for the smaller locks) or bolt cutters (to deal with the larger locks).

But citizens who care about how their neighborhood looks have done so, because now there are many, many fewer locks than seen here, in 2016, when the ghastly blight was near its height:

By the way, some love lock loving literary wonder (gotta wonder who) on a questionable body known as the Norfolk Arts Commission opined that (see the spurious document here) these locks are a "grass roots effort by citizens to create a special place." By that logic, shall we consider all the litter and butts and unpicked-up dog poop around The Hague "grass root efforts" too?





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