please empty your brain below

I visited the park yesterday evening with much of the carnival still going. Like you say it really feels like a community destination. Aside from the visitors near the carnival it was great to see people spread throughout the park: watching the road bikes, hanging out on picnic tables near roads, escaping it all on the raised viewing platforms by the canals, kids on the climbing wall. I even saw one man with a magnifying glass and book engrossed in wildflowers. There's such a chance to explore and leave with a different experience than someone stayed on a different area of the park. I take my hats off to the planners and management that kids can run through the wildflowers and hardy shrubs, up and down hills to the next 'level' of parkland and yet it feels like everyone is looking after the place. Proof that by not having fences and 'keep off the grass' signs people can be trusted to police themselves. I also think the park being full of multi-level paths adds to it's character. How pleasant that you can disappear down a ramp or staircase, weave under a bridge and feel like you're somewhere completely different. I do wonder how the fortnightly football matches will change things but I guess we have to hope for the best.
So we all best make a note for 2017 (5th anniversary), 2022 ("big" 10th anniversary), 2032 ("super" 20th anniversary), 2037 ("Silver" anniversary), etc. It was a moment of "national" pride and joy...but time to move on. I'm sure other cities (lets not forget the "event" was held for the most part in or near London) in the world don't have to "celebrate" each anniversary of when held their Olympics? Yes we "done us proud and we did it right" lets now get on with other things now.
It's hard to believe that it's already two years on... It was a memorable time - not least for us locals who had lived with the hopes and fears for these Games for so long - and we're allowed to reminisce (for those of that want to). The first half hour of the opening ceremony is something I will always re-watch.

I have some photos saved of the Rings blazing into existence, taken in the stadium by a gamesmaker friend. She passed away unexpectedly at the start of this year, so this anniversary has a personal touch for me, as T was such an ardent supporter of London 2012 and what they meant for her city long after they had gone.
I'd planned a visit for Sunday (completely oblivious to the date or the Carnival!) but as my plans for Saturday fell through I went then instead!
It really is a lovely place. So vibrant, something for everyone, without feeling on top of each other! Wonderful legacy.

And while I'm one who avoids shopping centres at all costs, I was even impressed with the stroll from the station to get to the park. So many interesting looking eateries and even a section set up for what looked like impromptu Gigs. Plus the water stands for filling up our bottles on a hot day were extremely welcome!

Well done Stratford. You've got a little gem there.
I didn't like what they did with it myself. Guess in used to parks being mainly big green spaces to get lost in like Hyde and Regents. Yes nice parts to it like great British garden but too many roads and cars (big shock after the olympics when it was all pedestrian). Too many featureless wide avenues, not enough green, felt it was designed by committee rather than something more organic. Still mustn't grumble.
On the opening night I was driving back from Hastings and joined the A406 just as the ceremony was starting - I was somewhat surprised to see a large military helicopter hovering over Knobs Hill stadium.

I don't mind the efforts to regenerate the area bounded by the Bow Back Rivers but was it necessary to do a "1984" and attempt to obliterate its fascinating history.
Drone on did you say? Drone away DG, always a pleasure to read your blog and always in awe of your dedication to a daily post.
Looks like you enjoyed it, but missed the finale, which is unfortunate because that's when many of the individual set pieces of the day came together to create something truly spectacular.
It'd be reasonably easy to reel off a whole list of different types of performers who had come from 'the local community' to take part in the event, but if the aim is to talk about "community" the biggest sense of that was provided by the crowds who had come to experience the occasion.
But seriously... you left before the end? Really, you can watch a DVD any time. Without meaning to self-publicise, here's something of what you missed
Me? I thought it was a brilliant show
On a recent visit I sat next to a reedbed and listened to the swishing of the reeds. Various birds were singing, butterflies flitting. I watched a crow dive bombing a heron which stood its gorund for 10 minutes but screeched every time the crow attacked. So yes, its a bloody success!

Also Danny Boyle's opening ceremony was one of the highlights of my life - no ceremony will ever match it!

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