The Genre of Boulevard Park

In “On Genres as Ways of Being” Heilker expresses his belief that “Genres are ways of being, ways of emerging into the world” through examples of how he adapted to fit the expectations of a graduation ceremony speech, about the genre of the 12-Step program, and how the genre of a chair influences what happens on the chair. He also explains how genres “have the potential to invite us and require us and compel us to come up and out of our previous ways of being in this world, to become something new, something more” which relates to how the genre of a place for example, including a church, a gym, or a coffee house almost force us to conduct ourselves in a certain way. Whether that be willingly or not, we all do it. Often when I enter a certain place the atmosphere created by the genre makes me feel a certain way, like energetic in a gym or at peace in a church. Heilker’s description of genre is best described when he says “The desk exists in a public space that no individual owns” meaning that no one person can “own” a genre, it is a place constructed over time by many users. For example, at Boulevard Park no one person is going to change the atmosphere and therefore the genre of park. If change occurs, it is going to happen based on a shift in the way Boulevard Park is ran. The genre of Boulevard Park is what makes it so frequented by many college students, families, and the Bellingham community. When the city planned the park they wanted to help create a sense of community similar to how Heilker’s example of a desk shows how teachers chose this style of desk to make sure students act a certain way. Let’s look at different aspects of Boulevard Park.

The park adapts to the visitor. To use this place I must know what I am interested and fit the park to my needs and wants.

The park encourages visitors to be friendly. The pathways, benches, and other common areas encourage people to interact in ways they wouldn’t normally wouldn’t.

The park is athletic-orientated. The trail that goes through the center of the park brings many athletes through the park.

The park is spacious, as if it wants me to move around and be active.

The park is unique, it goes above and beyond the normal expectations of a park. The park has many features to offer visitors like Woods Coffee, trails, playgrounds, and barbecues.

The park is comfortable. It is inviting and inclusive with much aesthetic pleasure.

The park is personal. Each visitor can feel an emotional connection to certain aspects of the park.

The park assumes many users simultaneously. While using this park I will pass by many other people of the community.

The park encourages watching. There are benches and pathways that set up a perfect view of the ocean and mountains.

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