Letter to the Editor: Critic Blind to Joys Of Pier 6 Play Areas
To the Editor:
Fred Kent’s unhappiness with the design of Brooklyn Bridge Park as reported in the April 16 Wall Street Journal strikes me as out of touch with reality. He ignores the popularity of the park with its users; the pleasure of hundreds of parents with children, younger couples, older people, and athletes all using the park — but each with some degree of separation — seems to escape him.
I love the park and its design. In good weather we are there once or twice a week, especially the southerly Pier 6 part. We constantly send visitors from out of town to see it, and they come back glowing with praise.
We love having dedicated and separate play areas for our toddler granddaughter: the water area, the sand castle, the Slide, the climbing yard, the wilderness area. Each of them is small enough to be intimate. Parents and nannies can have their children close by without having to sort them out from fifty other kids or worrying about them straying off. Each play area is a separate experience, allowing children to focus without the distraction of five other very different things going on.
The idea that all the users: walkers, runners and bikers, toddlers, older kids, parents and old folks all would be happier mixed together doesn’t seem like common sense. Older folks (like me) enjoy having a peaceful area to sit or stroll, free of the commotion of noisy young ones. Younger kids don’t want to compete with older kids for space or play equipment; it’s better that they have space of their own with ample seating for parents. There are plenty of opportunities to mingle without forcing everyone into the same space. We are fortunate that the park is so large, and we can have all these things.
If there is a shortcoming at the moment, it is the limited facilities for older children and teenagers. However, the park is far from finished, and perhaps those facilities will be forthcoming.
As they say, “Different strokes for different folks,” but the folks that are using the park seem to be very happy with it. The planners and the park corporation should ignore this kind of criticism.
— Joseph P. Whitaker, Boerum Hill
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