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Monday, December 24, 2012

Hinton Park

A trip to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens gave this explorer the chance to visit not only Park of the Americas (formerly Linden Park) and National Plaza (formerly Corona Plaza) but Hinton Park as well, a big rectangle just across the Grand Central Parkway from Citi Field, the fancy new home of the New York Mets. Nearby you'll find the Louis Armstrong School and the Louis Armstrong Playground.

No one was playing outdoor chess on this December day, but no matter the weather the compass never tires of pointing in every direction.

Most of the park's acreage is devoted to grassy baseball fields…

…which, you'd assume, would be entirely abandoned in the winter, but you'd be wrong.

Little parks with little character bordering on flavorless highways – that's a kind of identity, I suppose. Reverend George Warren Hinton park is named for a longtime pastor of the Corona Congregational Church, who died in 1969 – the same year the Mets won their first World Series, and long before the building of Citi Field inspired the team to…well, to continue to not be very good. Sigh.

Maybe one day the guys in the photo above can do something about that.

A final note: While it's true that Hinton Park is unremarkable, even lacking anything in the way of a surrounding neighborhood to lend it character, it's also true that walking towards it along 37th Avenue over slightly hilly terrain, passing streets jutting off in irregular directions, I could detect past ages when this land was entirely rural. Imaginative overreach? I don't think so. Try it and see if you agree.

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