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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gorman Park

Now here's something different: a park that's essentially just a giant staircase.

OK, yes, Gorman Park has a terrace-like seating area at the top.

The upper entrance is off Wadsworth Terrace circa 189th St., a block east of and a big climb up from Broadway. Up there is where you'll see the benches, along with a stone wall chiseled with the vital information that the park was named for a real estate investor (how New York is that?) named Gertie Amelia Gorman. But once you get beyond that flat balcony, it's pretty much nothing but big wide stairs, hairpinning all the way down the hill.

Gorman Park volunteers work to beautify the park. Several people were there clipping during my December visit, although the results of their work are surely prettier in the warmer months.

The most recent entry on their website, from June, has this invitation, which must have been irresistible: "I hope you can make it by Gorman Park tomorrow for some exciting weeding and ground-cover planting." Exciting? Really?

But I always like discovering that even the smaller, more obscure parks around the city have devoted neighborhood boosters. It shows how important parks are, every one of them, to urbanites. Long live Gorman Park.

Incidentally, speaking of stairs, my walk from nearby Bennett Park to Gorman Park took me along 187th St. which itself consists, for one block, of a huge bank of stairs (eight flights, I think). They don't call it Washington Heights for nothing.

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