Monday, July 18, 2011

Park Life Reconsidered

Maybe I was being a bit churlish, pouring scorn on the scrappity bits of dust New York claims as parks.

I took a long walk yesterday - from Chelsea to Williamsburg, no less. On my way through the West Village, Greenwich, Nolita and Soho, where the grid system breaks down and little triangles emerge between the diagonal roads, I saw lots more of those scrappy/ crappy parks.

This one is called Little Red Square, and is not much bigger than the Rabbit Hutch:

This one is called the Playground of the Americas, which is rather grand considering it consists of a single slide.
Like I said, I'm a spoiled Londoner. Plus I have happy memories of all those beautiful, well managed parks in LA. Sure, you had to pay $15 to park, but they were so well equipped!

Still, this is New York and the standard is different. Rather than deriding these lame efforts - perhaps instead I should applaud the bravery and sheer insouciance of a city that says 'yeah, that's our park, whaddayagonnadoaboudit?'.

These neighbourhood corners are not really parks so much as statements: 'eff you, this city's so great, and central park is so awesome, we don't need anything more than a bench and a tired looking tree on our block'

Or, as the Euro would put it, go big or get out.

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