Sunday, April 20, 2014

Activities Recreation for Adults

We do not need meaningless plaza  containing  a handful of benches. " 
-Chelsea Resident 1968 

As shown in the entries on the 3 Minute Park, Chelsea does a really good job of giving residents a place to sit within 3 minutes of wherever they are in Chelsea.  But when people get to those spots many people  find nothing of interest  to do in them except sit.

I was at  Union Square park  talking to a young fellow  and he said to me that" there's a playground for the kids and seats for the old people but nothing for us".

  I'm bored silly  too.  I have a park right down the block from where I live, but I rarely  go there because it offers no reaction activities that are of interest to me.  Instead I go to parks that are over  1/2 mile away from  me that do offer activities that do interest me. But because of the distance I do not go as often as I would like.

Is everybody bored in our parks? No. Large numbers of people are perfectly satisfied. But the ones that aren't satisfied are the ones that don't use the parks. If a park doesn't meet your recreation  needs, you may not use it or use it only infrequently. What's needed is to offer activities that meet the vast majority of everyone's recreation needs. Trouble is with the exception of Bryant park  most of our parks in CB4/CB5 have chosen not to offer activities recreation.

Lack of Money for staff and lack of room, seem to be two of the reasons given  for not having  activvities recreation.

I mentioned the lack of activities to several larger BID/Parks Conservancies and was told things like  "we have no room"  This is not true.  Lets look at several  case where there is room, and see how this can be duplicated elsewheres.

Bryant Park has room for a games area and offers over 35 games. Plus a reading room, and ping pong.  While visiting Bryant park I ran into a fellow who came down from the Bronx to play here, because it was the closest location  that had a facility.

 They are a very rich park, with a lot of staff. but its also possible to do something with sless wealthy parks  with smaller staff.

This is an indoor games atrium at the Bank of Americas building that supplies chess tables but no chess sets or other games.
  A Games cabinet(below)  can easily be added to this atrium, making it far more useful for the community. 

This is Herald Square park, there is room for an outdoor games cabinet here

In the park is  a manned  visitors information booth. I sat down nerar it and watched the number of people that stopped by and asked for information. It was an average of  of 4 people per hour when I was there. What this means is that the person behind this booth hand out games, and/or keep an eye on an outdoor reading room cabinet.

Will there be losses of people stealing games and books? Possibly, but there are already people stealing chairs that cost $200-400, and what done is to consider this part of the cost of running these parks.

Here are 13 spaces in CB4 that either have staff or are locked where this could possibly  work::

Outdoor Spaces
Herald Square Park
Greely Square park
Flatiron Plaza
Chelsea Triangle

Indoor Spaces
 Bof A Atrium

Locked Spaces
Alices garden
Bob's Park
Threasas park
Juan  Alonso park & Community Garden

Oaisis Community garden
Astros Dog Run
Clinton Community garden
Fulton senior Center garden