Way back when, Gothamist had a favorite playground. Well, we had many favorite playgrounds, but there was one that always made our heart jump: the Ancient Playground. Anytime that the family would head up to get some "culture" at the Metropolitan Museum we inisisted that a trip to the playground just to the north be a part of the package. And we know we weren't alone. What kid didn't love crawling through sandy tunnels and over tactile brick pyramids? Whereas most playgrounds nowadays, and then even, are pretty similar and plastic we've never seen another playground quite like the Ancient one. Though it isn't all that ancient - it was built in 1972.
So excuse us if we were a little alarmed to read in today's paper that the Central Park Conservancy is trying to bring the playground up to "safety standards," possibly by covering the pyramids with "less abrasive materials." Uhm, what? Retouch the brickwork, sure it probably needs it, and maybe you sand down the concrete structures as they are a bit abrasive, but people, please, pyramids have been made of brick for a few thousand years already so why stop now?
While we understand the concern of some parents that these sandy, scratchy structures can leave some kids in need of a few small band-aids, we always thought that was part of the charm. Kids have been getting scratched up playing forever, and most of them turned out OK. In fact, that used to be a big part of what childhood was about.
Plus, without the pyramids how else are parents going to persuade their kids to schlep to the Met with them? Well, besides the promise of mummies, suits of armor, ancient instruments, beautiful paintings, amazing sculptures, not to mention the temple of Dendur... but still.
Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof by Yoga Chickie on flickr.