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Monday, November 8, 2010

Rector Park

Most of the parks we're visiting on this odyssey are kept up by the good old New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, and more power to 'em. But there are quite a few that aren't, like Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens, and the subject of today's brief entry, quiet Rector Park, which is maintained by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy.

Consisting of two wide rectangular gardens just east of the Hudson River Esplanade, Rector Park is meant expressly for passive enjoyment. "No active recreation please," so put away that frisbee. "Watching your baby nap" is the most exciting activity the Conservancy recommends for visitors to Rector Park.

From outside and above, it doesn't look like much:

But the eastern rectangle, in particular, feels pretty spacious. The lawns are so well-groomed they look positively, almost freakishly suburban.

But then, we are only a block or two from the Manhattan Yacht Club. Lotta rich people around here.

Hard to believe we're also only a couple of blocks from Ground Zero, too. Which, by the way, is looking less and less like Zero and more and more like "something's happening here" even if "what it is ain't exactly clear." Nothing like an approaching tenth anniversary to get embarrassed politicos and developers talking.

Meanwhile, over in Rector Park, there's nothing happening. Absolutely nothing. And that's just the way they like it.

What's that? You want to know what that little round green sign says? "Feeding pigeons and squirrels also feeds rats." I like the way the phrasing lets you draw your own conclusions about whether you should, in fact, feed pigeons and squirrels. Very civilized indeed.

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