The Section 17 Neighborhood Park

I was born in Assunta Hospital, on Jalan 1, the first road ever built in Petaling Jaya. It goes by the name Jalan Templer these days. I lived in my grandparents’ house in Section 17, Petaling Jaya. One fine day I decided to ask my dad what happened to the park that he used to take us to as kids, and where was it?

As it turns out, the playground/recreational park was in Section 17 itself, and it was still around!

I remember very vaguely memories of this parking lot marking the entrance, getting there in my dad’s Datsun 120Y.

The steps to this place.

The road. Notice the MBPJ logo – Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, or Petaling Jaya City Council, effective 20th June 2006 when Petaling Jaya was granted city status.

An entrance that was now blocked off. I remember back in the early 90’s when you could leave your gate unlocked in Section 17 and crime wasn’t so rampant.

Up on the hill was a signboard with the old MPPJ logo – Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya, or Petaling Jaya Municipal Council.

As you entered, a common area lies, growing moss. Admittedly I have been digging up a bit on Malaysian history where it comes to buildings so this strikes me as something that might have been built when this park was built. I don’t know when that is, but Petaling Jaya was established in 1953, so it could’ve been anywhere from that point onwards.

You can imagine kids just going apeshit running circles around this. Well, maybe 90’s kids.

Behind it, more garbage bags with fallen leaves.

To its right, a basketball court, and a new playground up the hill.

A bit further was a playground that had a bit of fresh paint.

The new playground up on the hill. I remember this type of playground back in Bangsar Sports Complex, in the 90’s. There is also one near my current residence.

I seem to have regretfully forgotten to take a picture of the signboard, in case it would have any clues. Also note the benches. Classic!

From on top of one of the many hills.

Same basketball court.

Some hut on top of a hill.

But you know, I really didn’t care for all that back then. I think I was under the age of 10, and the playground didn’t excite me…

…it was the laterite hills that really did.

The shape was the same, but the color was different. It was now covered in moderate vegetation and leaves, regretfully! I remember going apeshit, seeing the bright red laterite, climbing it with my bare hands!

Some parts of it still show what originally was all orange.

On the right is some good ol’ laterite, a rich crust of rust due to the presence of iron oxides.

When I asked my dad about this park from my childhood with the red rocks, he expertly identified it as laterite. Of course, I learnt that in Geography, many years ago, but quickly forgot. Perhaps it was his qualification as a chemical engineer that hardened it.

I think I remember this rock from my childhood! What a beauty.

This is a peak I don’t remember going to, which overlooked the older playground. I don’t think stone walks were in fashion back then. I remember the craze back in the 90’s, and we’d go to Bandar Utama Park and abandon our slippers for some acupunctural goodness.

This is the view when you’re on top, looking over to the other end of the uh… mountain range.

This is the view from the front. Honestly not as appealing without its trademark rusted red.

This is the view from the other side of the park. For some reason, I never really journeyed here.

Random rocks. Exciting, like discovering kryptonite!

A little rock that strayed.

I don’t remember if there was also earth that was easy to chip, causing rocks to come off.

Halfway up.

More of that rich red goodness.

I’m not sure which angle this is from.

A plainer looking view.

Of course, there were huts in the distance. For some reason I never got excited about the cemented jogging path on the left, that made a circle around the park. In a way, this rock in the foreground, was what I remember to be my invisible bounds – nothing interesting beyond there!

Today it might be a different story, as there were two chicks jogging the circuit. 😀

There was an electricity control box nearby, and there was an alternate entrance, guarded by… a cat!

I got nice and close with the 1985 Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan. Intentionally, I went there with the oldest Minolta lenses I had – the 1987 Minolta 24-50mm F4 being the other. I left the 1985 Minolta 50mm F1.4 at home, though, thinking I could get by with Super SteadyShot since I wasn’t shooting moving subjects in twilight. To be pure I’d have used Fujifilm Velvia and a Minolta Dynax 7000 but I don’t have a Dynax 7000 and I wasn’t keen on using film so I brought the Sony Alpha 900 instead. It would’ve done good since I was shooting late into the evening where I had to use ISO1600 as both lenses were cutting off at F4.

I then walked out Jalan 17/33 and spotted this dramatic scene, in time for magic hour.

There was a torn-down house to the left.

I went down the stairs to Jalan 17/31.

However, 17/31 proved to be too modern for me so I headed back up the stairs and into nostalgia.

You know, I really don’t remember what this used to look like. This is the darn toll people keep avoiding by cutting through Section 17.

I normally don’t like going to Petaling Jaya, as I attract lots of mosquitoes, and Petaling Jaya is just full of them. Especially Section 17.

There is a reason why I went down nostalgia lane (or nostalgia park?) but I will blog about it soon, hopefully, when I am done collecting information on the subject. Unfortunately, not many pictures of that subject can be found, which is why I went down to Section 17 to document as much as I could about the park I loved as a kid!

2 thoughts on “The Section 17 Neighborhood Park

  1. meilin Post author

    My parents moved from 17/6 to 17/33 and we still use the same park.. 3rd generation now love the basketball court, mossies still love us…


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