Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kids These Days

Walking by this playground the other day in West Chelsea, I noticed that the tops of the structures were capped in the likes of our city's own Empire State Building and Chrysler Building.

It really made me stop and appreciate how sometimes the simplest things, with just a little bit of thought, really work. There are probably thousands of these ugly steel primary colored play structures churned out (from China?!) and placed in playgrounds throughout the nation, but the fact that someone thought to personalize it to OUR city is great... Taking New York's icons and simplifying them into a recognizable, approachable, and NON-CHEESY way is not easy.

I found that I was not the first to notice/appreciate... The NY Times wrote about another innovative playground although that scheme seemed a bit excessive with it being "based on child-development theories that children need to engage in social and fantasy play… envision[ing] groups of children collaborating... [on] loading containers with sand, hoisting them up with pulleys and then lowering them down to wagons waiting to be wheeled off to another part of the park.”

Are kids these days so much more sophisticated that they can't be bothered with sandboxes and monkey bars?! Speaking of... I wonder if any kid has ever climbed to the top and made a reference to the classic film featuring that famous simian. Or maybe that would just be waaaaaay uncool.

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