I’ve recently come across an outdoor gym in a small corner of Lighthouse Park on Roosevelt Island. I ran around with excitement trying out each brightly painted contraption, and it was fun to figure out how these simple machines work, using my own weight as resistance for each exercise. As someone who’s never been able to commit to a gym membership, I was delighted to have this available. Considering how small this section of the park was and how many people used the gym in the short time I was there, I think the community is glad to have it as well.
I’ve always felt a lack of public play space in New York.
Being an avid lover of swings, it's tough to find a playground that isn’t fenced off and has an age limit. Sure, there are plenty of public parks for me to enjoy, but since I’m not a runner or a cyclist, that’s always been a very passive amenity for me. I needed something just a little more active than people watching.
The NYC parks website offers a list of locations that have the fitness equipment I saw in Lighthouse Park, so I can find a local version and use it whenever I want! It’ll be great to take advantage of it without any time or financial commitments, however I still think this is only the first step in providing public fun PLAY spaces for adults in the city.
If the popularity of events such as NYC Waterfight, Wipe Out Run and adult summer camps are any indication, adults need play space just as much as kids (I might even argue that we need more, to make up for having to pay bills and such) so it would be great to have public adult playgrounds that are accessible all year long.
Let’s start with some swings that go all the way around, and see what else we can come up with!
Alexandra Koretski, Designer, Project Manager