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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bleecker Playground

One of the various factors making visiting every New York City park a Herculean task, aside from the sheer quantity, is inconsistent nomenclature. Athletic fields and playgrounds in themselves don't count as parks for this blog. But some "playgrounds" aren't just playgrounds.

Next to Bleecker Playground in the West Village, for example, and completely fenced off from the kids' play area, is a spacious, nicely landscaped seating area. Granted there were no children playing in the playground when I walked through the other day, but it felt like a peaceful oasis. So here it is (trumpets, please): the Bleecker Playground seating area.

But what, you ask, is that dancingly expressive statue in the first photo above? The Parks Department website is happy to oblige with the answer: it's Chaim Gross's The Family, "dedicated by the artist to former Mayor Edward I. Koch in 1992," the year after Gross died. I don't know why they had to rename the Queenboro/59th St. Bridge after Koch when he already had this nifty sculpture (and the bridge already had two perfectly good names). And who actually did the dedicating?

Another good question: Why is one section of this park paved in wooden boards? In any case, since my next post will take us to Coney Island, it makes a good transition. The sunlike image in the window is, I think, a display at the James Perse store, but I didn't want to get too close and burn my eyes (or melt my wings).

Finally, while I suppose none of us really needs to see yet another picture of a chess table, I like these solid-looking pieces of old furniture, and the presence of one does prove – to me at least – that this is indeed a New York City park.

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