Tortoise Strolls

Archive for October 2011

2 Fulton St. “The Imagination Playground”

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The Financial District, or as some say FiDi, is having a bit of a baby boom. Children’s ventures such as playgrounds are being developed more readily, especially ones with a more creative focus. Opened on July 27th, 2010, The Imagination Playground is encased in a hull reminiscent of a ship and serves as a reminder of the area’s past history. Located near the South Street Seaport in an area called Burling Slip, this space was once used as an actual boat slip. It was in turn a parking lot for many years before the Rockwell Group intervened and donated a significant amount of money in order to build this project. Unlike most playgrounds, there are no swings or typical playground equipment. The playground’s focus is to inspire and unleash children’s imaginations. Anything can be built with all the blue blocks that are provided. Children become miniature developers in the making as they learn to manipulate their environment. Who needs monkey bars anymore? 





Written by agnesbstanton

October 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Carl Schurz Park

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This park is one of New York City’s best kept secrets. I love Carl Schurz Park because whenever I come here for a stroll, I immediately feel as if I’ve taken a trip to a far away land. It’s one of the most serene peaceful escapes you can have in a hustle and bustle city like New York. There are never really any tourists here. It is a park that you would only discover if you had a reason to come all the way to the East End between 84th and 90th Streets or if you happen to live nearby.

Roughly 14.9 acres, this park is part of the New York Department of Parks but has a dedicated volunteer group called the “Carl Schurz Park Associatation”.  They came together in the 1970’s in order to clean up the park’s playground and ensure that it was made safe for neighborhood children. Due to the economic turmoil during that era, the association did quit a bit more than just maintain the playground. They pooled resources and were able to transform the entire park one step at time. With their help, Carl Schurz Park has been able to look pristine and feel safe ever since.

I used to come to this park the few times when I was visiting 10 Gracie Square, but it wasn’t until this past spring of 2011 that I began to regularly spend time here. I had just had a baby and I needed to lose a few pounds, so I signed myself up for Strollercize classes. The morning class at 9am took place at Carl Schurz Park with Lizzie our fun-loving instructor. I found this to be the most exciting way to get my body back into shape, which I was able to do, thank you very much. Thanks Lizzie!!!

I no longer need to do strollercize classes, but I continue to visit Carl Schurz Park. This summer I had a few picnics on the grass, along with long strolls on the promenade, watching the East River flow south one day and north on the next. I found Gracie mansion, located inside the park, to be a very iconic building. This federal style mansion is the official residence of the major of New York, although Mayor Bloomberg prefers to stay in his Beaux-Arts townhouse located at 17 E. 79th St.

Another icon of Carl Schurz Park is the Peter Pan Sculpture. Originally created in 1928 by Charles Andrew Hafner, this bronze sculpture of Peter Pan spent its early years in a fountain located in the lobby of the old Paramount Theater in Times Square. In 1975 it was donated to Carl Schurz Park and has been there ever since were it not for an incident that happened in 1999. Peter Pan mysteriously disappeared only to be later recovered from the bottom of the East River by the New York Police Department. No suspects were arrested and Parks Commissioner Stern made light of this by saying ” We thought his only enemy was Captain Hook”. Peter Pan was reinstalled more securely this time around, just in case another vandal decided to test out Peter Pan’s flying abilities again.

There’s lots to see and do at Carl Schurz Park such as basketball or hockey that can be played on the courts. Children have a wonderfully maintained playground with a fun water fountain in the summer. There are also two doggy parks, one for little dogs and the other for big ones. I also enjoy taking a jog once in a while on the promenade by the river. Do take a moment to visit Carl Schurz park this autumn, but keep it hush hush. I wouldn’t want the tourists to invade.

Written by agnesbstanton

October 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Parks, Upper East Side