Sunday, June 5, 2011

Playground Tour Stop #5: Stroud Playground

The fifth stop on our playground tour is Stroud Playground in Prospect Heights on Park Place between Washington Ave and Classon Ave. If you've been down this block before, it's quite possible that you didn't even notice this rather run down playground behind a small park.

We first discovered the "Elephant Playground" (as we've now come to call it) on the way to our weekly music classes a block away. Initially I was a bit weary of this old and somewhat abandoned playground, but over the past couple years we have really become quite fond of it for a little something different now and then.

The playground is nestled behind a shady little park with several benches and tables. There is a school yard off to the left and apartment buildings border the rear and right side of the playground. The painted metal parts of the structure are chipping but the structural integrity of the equipment is sound. There are two double slides, a spiral slide, bridges, monkey bars, ladders and two baby swings fenced off in the rear. And then there's the elephant. It's really not that exciting, just an old statue of an elephant that the kids can climb on... but nonetheless, they get to "ride" on an elephant so that's cool enough for them. It's large enough that a 3-year-old sometimes needs a hand to get on and off of it, but can also manage it themselves if they really want to.

The most appealing part of the playground (from an adult perspective at least) is the relative calm and quiet. Compared to other playgrounds that are bustling with rowdy kids, crying babies, exasperated parents and everything else that is quintessentially "playground", Stroud is quite relaxing. We are almost always the only ones on the playground and even on the occasion where there are other children, it is only one or two who are usually relatively mellow. There are occasionally adults in the park area or even on a rear bench of the playground, but they keep to themselves.

If you don't live in the neighborhood and need more motivation to visit an old and somewhat desolate little playground, here are two more incentives: Sit and Wonder and Chavella's (neither of which I have any personal connection to or other reason to plug on here) - some of the best coffee in Brooklyn and tasty, affordable Mexican food. So grab your Stumptown pre playground and relax in the shade while the kids play on the elephant and then mosey over grab a cactus taco for lunch. :)

Although it's a nice change of pace from other playgrounds, Stroud still needs a lot of TLC and isn't exactly something you'd write home about, so I'm giving it a B-.

To compliment these bright, warm days we've been having lately, our sign this week is "Sun".

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