Friday, January 02, 2009

Not Child Friendly

Monterone Apartments, formerly Mansions on the Green, is a huge apartment complex here in town. It sprawls across O'Connor Drive, and covers acres of ground.

They used to have a huge billboard, until they got so many complaints about it that they had to take it down. The outside grassy areas are planted with the same stuff they use for golf greens, so there's your conspicuous consumption right there.

When Mike and Vanessa moved in there, they were told that there was a playground, but they had never found it.

This morning, Grandma was on a mission.

I loaded Ethan into his stroller, and strolled around the half of the complex that is on the east side of O'Connor. I discovered more apartments than I had ever known were there. There is a nice pool, shared (I guess) with Halina's, the on-site spa. However, there was no playground, and the little bits of public lawn were not easy to get to with the stroller. Added to that, at 10:00 AM, they had just been watered, and the grass was very wet.

Abandoning that idea, we crossed the four-lane street (with no crosswalk and only one place to cross without having to hop the curb with the stroller), and proceeded to the main office. It's located in an aggressively Mediterranean-style edifice, and the old lady pushing the stroller up the hill and through the huge doors was ignored for several minutes. Eventually, somebody responded to my query about the location of the playground, and pointed me out the back door of the building. We strollered past two really nice swimming pools, with islands and fountains, but then we had to go UP A FLIGHT OF STAIRS to get out of the pool area, and proceed further up the hill to the "playground."

In the vicinity is a tennis court, a basketball court, a beach volleyball court (sand under water, due to excessive automatic watering), and a "playscape."

Some playscape! One little unit, with steps and slides and a couple of games designed to bore older kids, like X's and O's and a number thing.

Rather than leave the way we came (through the safety gate, down the stairs, past the pools and through the clubhouse building), we made our escape through the parking lots.

This company obviously discourages tenants with small children, hiding the vestigial playground far at the back of the property and making it difficult to get to with small children in tow.

The apartments are expensive, the gate is usually stuck open, and Vanessa had her car broken into in the parking lot.

I don't think they give true value for what they charge.


  1. *sigh* If people advertise 'family friendly', they darn well better be so. It's a shame places can't be more honest and say 'hey, kids really won't be happy here' without offending people. That sort of honesty would save a lot of heartache. And a lot of hiking, bless your heart! Are there any elementary school playgrounds nearby?

  2. I live fairly close to there. Is there anything over at Cat Hollow Park, down the road? I'm pretty sure they have some playground sort of stuff...

  3. I've been to the playground there. However, I was hoping for something closer...

  4. That is just plain stupid, never mind the hazard of the stairs.