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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gilbert Ramirez Park

This one-acre park in Bushwick, formerly known as McKibben Park, opened in 1936 and was renovated around the turn of the 21st century with a play area that has a subway theme, including a play subway entrance and fanciful metal wall panels.
Justice Gilbert Ramirez Park was named for the first Puerto Rican elected to the New York State Assembly, in 1965. Ramirez later became a Justice of the State Supreme Court and a noted community leader. His park today has places for "passive enjoyment" – picnic tables, benches – which are what make it more than just a playground.

Across McKibben St. is a construction wall with some eye-catching graffiti and a view of tall white tanks behind it, about whose identity some knowledgeable Brooklynite will have to enlighten me. A view through the swings struck me as picturesque. (What can I say? I'm a writer, not an artist like those whose exhibits at the nearby Bushwick Open Studios occasioned this trip to the culturally hopping neighborhood.)

A final note: One corner of the park is devoted to a tiny community garden with an admirable philosophy. I write this as we batten down for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, which will surely down a lot of trees around the city. Let's give a moment's thought to the trees that make the city livable, and to the apprehension of the evil creatures who "girdled" (effectively killing) 15 trees in Pelham Bay Park earlier this month.

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