Sunday, November 22, 2009

An abandoned playzone: East Poplar playground

Playground: East Poplar
Location: On 8th Street, W side, between Poplar and Brown (closer to Brown) -- entrances on 8th and from under train bridge (W)
Date visited: 11/18/09

Equipment: Three loose zones:
  • One would be good for crawlers and small tots -- it involves two low cement climbing turtles and an abstract sculptural element in-between. The turtles appear to be water elements/squirters, but the presence of a climbing object between them may mean that they're no longer functional. (There was nobody around to ask.)
  • A small kids zone has two slides, some climbing equipment, and a stretch of monkey bars. There is also a bar for swings, but with nothing hanging there.
  • An area for slightly larger kids has two structures: (a) a two-level playset with a wide metal slide at each height and some monkey bars, and (b) an intriguing pair of "lookout towers" that could each be climbed via an internal "submarine-style" ladder; however, the (tunnel) walkway connecting them is missing, leaving an alarming gap. There's also a stand for 4 swings in this area, but there aren't even chains hanging there.
material: modern "resin and metal" style, but very worn, with cracked coatings; scale: medium space.
Ages: 1-5?
Surface: rubbery uner equipment, blacktop elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 1
Water: ?
Other: pool, basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic tables, a large grassy area, rec. center
Access: dawn to dusk? (no gates)

Impressions: Lots of color here, but desperately needs some love in terms of both upkeep and variety -- our 21-month-old was barely challenged by the "bigger kids" equipment (although she loved the taller slide). The complete lack of swings is really a sin -- feels like a concession of defeat. It may be that this location is a little outside of any particular neighborhood (it's between the train bridge and an Orthodox church, with houses a block or two away), such that there's nobody to advocate for this playground and demand reasonable upkeep, but surely the area could use better options.
Overall rating: 3

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