Tag Archives: Architecture

Grady Playground Proves Modernism is Fun!

Playgrounds these days are way too focused on safety and learning. What’s with those number blocks? Who wants a twisty heat-resistant plastic slide you can’t get any real speed on? In my day it was cement and steel. And might I say, it prepared me for the real world, people. I remember in kindergarten we had a ten foot tall slide you could fry an egg on come summer time. Skinned knees are a right of passage, not a reason to put down rubber mats! So, it was much to my relief when I came upon Grady Playground, an homage, if you will, to the way things used to be. Only cooler.

Why so amazing? you might be asking. Whoever designed this little wonderland had a rather urban sensibility. Uber-urban really. The whole place looks like a miniature city.

Visions of Gotham

Doesn't this look like DUMBO?

Calluses Abound

As I was getting trigger happy with my camera, the person in charge of keeping Grady Playground litter free (he does a good job), questioned my motives. “It’s for a blog,” I said and he nodded to indicate approval. We chatted a little, though he didn’t stop working while doing so, a man committed to his task.

Larry, who works much harder than me.

As it turns out, not only does Larry keep the park clean, but he keeps the kids out of trouble, and off the top of the monkey bars – he told several girls to get down while I was there. He also informed me that later this month the architectural wonder that is Grady Playground, will be razed. “They’re re-doing the whole thing,” he said.  “But it’s so cool!”  I cried out in protest.

Why NYC Planning Commission? Why?

The metal slide, an endangered species.

Unbeatable

Sadly, the powers that be weren’t around to hear my well articulated case for keeping Grady Playground the way it is. Even if the were, the soft allure of plastic swings and rainbow shaped fountains would probably cloud their judgment. Alas! Again the old must make way for the new, and I slinked off with only my photos as conciliation. Melodramatic! Who’s being melodramatic?

But, as if the gods were listening to my sorrow:

That’s right. The Cyclone, that 80 year-old wooden roller coaster of possible death and definite back ache open for business, baby. Just what I needed. Next time.

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