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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ciccarone Park

Most online references to Ciccarone Park call it "Ciccarone Playground," and here at the Park Odyssey we're ignoring "parks" that are really just playgrounds. But if a park has some element of green, and if an adult can enjoy the space passively (and take a few photos) without being eyed warily by suspicious parents, it's a park as far as we're concerned. And so we present Ciccarone Park.

ciccarone park

Located off Arthur Avenue, the famous Italian-American cultural center in the Belmont section of the Bronx, this half-acre park owes its existence to a post-World War I War Memorial Fund, which Robert Moses made use of in 1934 to create a series of playgrounds. Given the traditional ethnic character of the neighborhood, this park/playground is appropriately named: for an Italian-American soldier who died of wounds sustained in the Argonne Forest in 1918. In the picture at right, you can see the dirt of a bocce court in the foreground; Ciccarone Park has one of at least 10 public bocce courts in the Bronx. (Whatever you do, just don't confuse bocce with p├ętanque, another adult game of balls-on-the-ground which you can find at places like Bryant Park.)

If you aren't a Child-American, another thing you can do here is play chess. Or, even more quietly, you can just sit on a bench, whiling away the front of the funeral home.

ciccarone park

Talk about passive enjoyment.

Seriously, though, you can't miss Ciccarone Park if you're walking from the subway to check out the many pleasures of Arthur Avenue's Italian eateries. So go forth, experience the Bronx—and pastry thyself.

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