Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Octagon Playground: The Good & The Bad

Today I walked with my kids up from the Church of the Good Shepherd all the way up to the Octagon and back. I was quite amazed they did so well. Our goal was to play at the Octagon playground which they enjoy.

The structure at the Octagon playground is by the Gametime company that RIOC’s Donna Masly indicated is involved with the design and eventual reconstruction of the new playground which will be replacing the Castle playground (currently gated off). They are also the builders of the playground apparatus at the Grandpa Al Lewis playground, the Riverwalk toddler playground, and perhaps at Manhattan Park (I don’t recall on this one). I am a bit concerned that having one manufacturer will prevent these parks from having any individual character but so far the kids are not complaining.

THe above video shows the viewer the settng the playground is surrounded by. The video was shot from atop the tallest structure in the playground. From the playground you can see the East River. the Prow, the Dayspring Church and of course the Octagon complex itself. On Sunday mornings you can enjoy the singing coming from the Church.

It’s a nice two part playground with a rock climbing theme on one side, designed for 5 year olds and up, and a mixed boat theme on the side built for 3 to 5 year olds. The “younger” side is used by the Bright Horizon’s Day Care center located at the Octagon which accounts partially for the Stalag 17 gates separating the two sides. But you wonder did the center fences have to be built so high?

P9030414_Octagon PlayGround Fencing at 13p

Another issue at this park, and a pet peeve of mine as evidenced by recent posts, is in regard to gate locks. Two of the internal locks (between the play areas and the central bench area) are either shot or non-existent and one exterior lock (from this center bench area to the street) of the same design no longer lines up between the bolt and the mechanism. According to one resident parent it appears that the management company rather than having a real locksmith look at these locks is simply having a non-professional solder on some additional metal each time with the hope of getting by.

P9150479_Octagon Bad Lock at 13p

P9150480_Octagon No Lock at 13p

All I can say is parents don’t appreciate this but at the moment they don’t seem to be able to get management to do anything about it. I am not sure if RIOC has any power here. I am also not sure if an insurance liability issue can be raised but its just plain shoddy and could result in another Bright Horizon’s child getting loose and this time lead to a lawsuit (which did not happen at the Riverwalk MSKCC when this happened to them).

I did not intend this to become a playground review and critique but as a parent of kids who live and play here it was bound to happen (and will continue to do so).

No comments:

Post a Comment