Category Archives: Manhattan

The Great Manhattan Playground Adventure

There’s a magical nanny crisscrossing Manhattan of late with Lexi and Annie her two young charges. Sarah Swymner, who has adopted the nom de plume Sarah Poppins, has set out to visit all of Manhattan’s public playgrounds over the course of the summer. The trio of adventurers is already well advanced in its quest – 100 down, 107 to go. The stats and the story are featured in an article published in todays’s edition of

Swymner aka Poppins is inviting the world along for the ride in her NYC Park Hopper blog. Reporter Jeff Mays caught up with nanny and the kids in Harlem’s Jackie Robinson Park. If the smiles are any indication, it seems the explorers love their gig.

Photo Credit – Jeff Mays, Jackie Robinson Park, Harlem

This is truly the kind of nanny I’d want to have with my kids. The élan of discovery presents great opportunities for play and learning. It reminds me so much of Tomoyo, the young woman who cared for and loved our young lad a few years back. I can just imagine her leading the charge on a project like this too.

New York City has a lot of great playgrounds and useful online information available at the click of mouse. Now the city’s info will be supplemented with Sarah, Lexi and Annie’s contributions. Here’s hoping that they will find the time to play and be playful in the remaining 104 playgrounds and possibly inspire nannies and parents elsewhere to take up the cause of play and urban exploration.

Update – Nanny Poppins interview with Village Voice blogg.

Tour of Otterness’ 42nd Street Playground

Playground packs in more fun than the proverbial barrel full of monkeys. Tom Otterness’ anthropomorphic sculpture installation is a space for wonderfalls, a place for children to imagine, to make believe and play.

Back in January I had the opportunity to interview Tom for PlayGroundology’s initial musings on the rich world of playscapes. Tom’s iconic installation is so arresting that I asked him if I could use a photo of Playground in my masthead as well as making it the subject of my first post. Permission granted and PlayGroundology now has a great visual that represents the spirit of the blog.

From the outset, Manhattan’s Bronze Guy has been a popular post. In June of this year it became even more so, as some of the millions from around the world who saw Playground as wallpaper on the Google homepage started looking for more information. It created a spike of visits to Tom’s homepage and to PlayGroundology.

Just recently I came across a video on Youtube that gives a partial tour of the 42nd Street PlayGround Bronze Guy. It has renewed my appetite to be there and play with my kids. I hope you enjoy this short vid as much as I did. Many thanks to Youtuber Jiunyiwu.

All materials, unless otherwise attributed or credited, copyright ⓒ 2010 Alex Smith.

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