Monday, September 24, 2007

Desalvio Playground (New York)

This was the first concrete jungle playground we visited in New York (located on the corner of Mulberry & Spring St.).
It was much different than what we're used to in LA. There's graffiti art on the walls, the stench of garbage that seems to permeate New York, trash on the ground, a tar black top (vs. wood chips or grass), and lots of people without kids just hanging out there. It was a bit sketchy when we first got there with a homeless element to it, but after about 20 minutes the parents and kids started to arrive.

If we ever lived in New York, I wouldn't feel comfortable letting Astrid play there without supervision. There was one clearly insane man sitting on a bench, constantly tearing off piece of bread to feed to the pigeons, but no pigeons were coming to him. Instead he was surrounded by crumbs and had a blank stare. The playground itself had lots for kids to do, (and there seems to be a playground every few blocks).Check out the colorful graffiti art on the wall.Astrid conquering the NY playground bridge with separate, moving planks. She befriended this 3 year old girl, Eugenie, who was the first kid to show up after us, and they had a lot of fun playing together. It was so sweet to see them holding hands and running around together.

Astrid's at the age now where she wants to play with other kids and I've been wanting to get her involved in a play group. Her toddler gymnastics class had a great group of kids, but they all left for one reason or another (they started preschool or daycare, and several moms had another baby and it was too difficult to bring both the infant and toddler to class). I'm also very selective about who Astrid plays with, because she picks up on behaviors very quickly and I don't want any bad influences. I want her to be around other well behaved kids who eat their fruits and vegetables and say "please" and "thank you."

Another mom that I met at the park gave me a tip about a nice park in China Town, on Mulberry Street, by the Chrysler building. I plan on checking it out after Astrid's nap today.

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