Friday, March 02, 2007

An Idyllic Day

The light streams through the thin white curtains behind me, adding gold tints to my hair and playing upon my face.

Thinking, I realize that the only thing I really want at this exact moment at time is to be at home on a summer's day with a container of colored chalk, a bottle of bubble-making soapy liquid, my bicycle and my family.

I'd draw pictures and we'd play hopscotch. Colorful pictures to illuminate the sidewalk and give it meaning, messages to the world at large, read by passerby and the glowing green leaves. Laughter as we race each other on our bikes. The smoky smell of a barbecue.

Summer in its health and vivid beauty.

I wish they had parks for grown-ups. You know, large parks with larger slides and monkey bars and a high captain's ship. Or I wish health facilities looked prettier, not all metallic and sleek and black-and-white but gorgeous and colorful and beautiful. I bet I could do a study on it, relating exercise to one's surroundings. If I were given a park suitable to my size, with swings and slides and paths to run through and follow, versus being placed in a sterile environment with the "human hamsters," as my tour-guide called them, where would I exercise most?

The only problem would be to prevent little kids from going into the grown-up parks, because they could hurt themselves. Maybe there'd have to be someone at the entrance of the park, then...a guard or someone like that. It's strange that we have water-slides and water-parks intended for teens to grownups, and yet no real parks of that nature. I want to play on a swing without having to wait for all the other kids to have their turn, and I'd really like a grown-up park.

Especially in our world, where everyone complains about how adults don't get enough exercise...if you made a colorful, appealing grown-up park, made it free (or at least, you'd pay taxes for it, but you wouldn't have to subscribe to it), put it in a very public place (to discourage gangs congregating there, though it'd probably still happen), well, I'm betting you'd have loads more healthy adults. On the way to work, you could stop off at the adult park and take a turn or two on the monkey bars, or during lunch-break, you could go down the slide...come on, don't you think people would be far happier and far healthier if we had grown-up parks?

Though I'd even settle for a kid's park...if I knew where the closest one was in Manhattan. A real park, with swings and such. Swings and slides are the essence of a park; all else is immaterial.

Give me color and happy people, give me an adult park, and the world could be much improved. We have adult ice-skating rinks, sometimes for free (Bryant Park) with lockers for all our accessories. Sure, they are monitored; maybe we'd have to monitor the adult park. But why don't we have them? Perhaps there should be a law that all workplaces should have them. How much fun would that be? During lunch break, these guys could take off their suitjackets and swing along the monkey bars.

To me, it's a happy rather than a ridiculous image. It's how the world could be...maybe.


Anonymous said...

The nearest playground to my knowledge is at St. Vartan's Park, 35th st. and 2nd ave. There's also a small playground on 3rd down by, say 30th st.

Both say that they are only for children, and adilts are only permitted in the presence of a child.

But since you've only just turned 18, perhaps you still count as a kid. ;-)

Maybe we can go sometime together.

David Melamed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SJ said...

Chana, wow, you are so awesome. Can I just say...your idea echoes the most innermost desires of my heart.

I love playgrounds. I love colors. And most of all I love the swings. At home, I walk to the playground a block away from my house and swing and swing and feel the air rushing past me and I kick the sky and I am young and old at once, and my past and future blend together and it is everything.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree!

I had a blast at a wonderful playground around Homa U'Migdal (I think that's where I was) up in Northern Israel.

The playgrounds near me (and in the communities I've visited) are kid-sized, unfortunately. Ramat Bet Shemeshm, Rafi G's community, seems to have an abundance of parks within the community; heck, there were parks before people even moved in! Jameel also has a nice park in his neighborhood.

Penny said...

I /think/ there is a swing set at 23rd/5th/b'way ... there is a great one in riverside park.. there are many playgrounds in the city (i don't know how strict they are about us big kids on them).. here is a list good luck and never stop playing! :) [i haven't and won't]

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Over Shabbos I heard a talk from the head of Comedy Cures who cited a statistic about how often kids laugh and how often adults laugh in a day (Kids about 30 times, adults about 300.

The Little Prince is dedicated - in order not to offend children - to a certain friend when he was a child. And the author adds that this is reasonable because all adults were once children even though most don't remember.

Thanks for this well done piece!

David Melamed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Melamed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ezzie said...

I wish I could remember where I just saw someone writing about an adult playground...

AnywayS, one of the calmest times I've had the last couple of years was when I found a swing big and high enough to swing on somewhere. I think I was sitting on the swing for about an hour.