One for the "The NYPD must have a ticket quota to fulfill" file: The Daily News highlights a middle-aged woman who was given a summons for being at the Rivington Street playground without a child. Now, most people are generally familiar with the Parks Department rule that prohibits adults from entering playgrounds without a child, if only by reading signs or the accusing sneers from parents, but in this case, belly dancer Sandra Catena didn't notice a sign and sought out a bench to sit on. Then two police officers approached her, telling her she was breaking the law because she was not accompanied by a child. They even called backup on her! Though one cop told her the judge would probably throw out the summons, Catena did them one better by going to the Daily News.
The rule is supposed to keep pedophiles from children. Which may be effective, but it's also keeping playgrounds from the adult kids-at-heart. Where are our playgrounds? Why can't we use the monkey bars to our heart's content? Do we only get the swings at Central Park? Anyway, one Lower East Side parents scoffs at the Parks Department and NYPD's enforcement of the rule, saying she sees adults without kids in the park all the time.
Photograph of the playground in West Chelsea by Tien Mao