Sunday, September 04, 2011

This used to be my playground

I took Nico to the awesomely toddler-friendly park playground on Monday. (It has ramps instead of steps and is surrounded by a fence, plus all the slides and monkey bars are short.) We were only there for about half an hour and it was only our second visit, but he's asked about it every day since.

This playground was built on the site of my favorite childhood playground, which was the most fantastic pre-safety-standards 1970s / 1980s playground of all time. It had two really tall slides, fireman poles, metal climbing gyms, concrete animals to climb on / crawl under, and this big silver triangular thing with an unclear purpose. It was huge, pitched at an impossibly steep angle, and got really hot in the sun. We always approached it via a running start and tried to get momentum to carry us to the top. I never made it, though I think one of my cousins did once. I'm more than a little bummed about that amazing playground being razed to build one that big kids probably find ridiculously dull, but I also kind of love that Nico loves the new incarnation. I suspect we'll be spending a lot of time there this Fall.


  1. I remember the big weird hot silver triangle!!!

  2. Anonymous7:26 PM

    We still have a big weird hot silver triangle at a nearby playground (the chipped paint 70s metal playground still stands on the other side of a parking lot from the newer, safer playground)! If you're ever in the area, I'll take you to have one last shot at making it to the top!

  3. The playground I used to go to as a child had these great swings with leather seats and you could make them go really high because there were none of those little mechanisms on the swing connections IN MY DAY. You could count on someone telling you a story about "my cousin's half-sister's niece's next door neighbor's cleaning lady's" child who went really high on one of the swings, flew off, hit the ground "way over there", and died. Far from being put off, my little friends and I were fascinated by the idea of flying through the air and crash-landing. As long as I didn't scrape all the skin off my palms when I fell (did that once; very painful) I didn't mind the idea of dying. It seemed worth it in order to fly.

    Oh, and then there were the "fell off the teeter totter onto her head and died" stories and the "a big boy came and swung the merry-go-round really fast and my second cousin twice removed's friend from Chicago flew off and hit her head and died" stories. It's a wonder any of my generation survived long enough to grow up and get into drugs.

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  5. Ari - a friend of mine really did fall off the merry-go-round as a kid, but she just broke her arm. Sadly, I don't know of any playgrounds left in town that still have merry-go-rounds. Tragic! There is a good old-school playground down the block from our house that I'm really hoping they don't tear down before my kid(s) outgrow it. (Or ever, really.)

    Stacy - that sounds like a plan! If I'm ever planning to be in your neighborhood, I'll do some pre-playground training so I'm ready for my attempt at the summit.