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August 11th, 2004

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06:01 am - Why yes I'm rambling today
Robert Berry over at the excellent Retrocrush once wrote an article on a truly dangerous playground that keeps alternating between "cool" and "depressing." One of the highlights of the photo tour is the extra-large concrete slide on which you must use a flattened cardboard box so you don't, well, tear yourself up sliding down a goddamn concrete slide.

It reminds me of a sight I get to see twice every day -- a playground on Cross Street in Somerville which features what I believe to be the Most Depressing Piece of Playground Equipment ever. As pop art it may be considered something, but as something for a kid to play on, it's downright angst-inducing. It's a concrete easy chair.

Let's go over that again: It is an oversized easy chair. Made out of concrete. What kind of kid would want to climb around on a concrete freakin' easy chair? (Actually, the sad part is that I might've frequented the sad thing as a kid. Especially if it meant I wouldn't get bothered by other kids.)

Still. Who would have the idea to put that in a playground? It feels almost German in nature. WHich brings me to consider a Bauhaus playground. Utilitarian and functional -- but the function would be "HAVE FUN." Man, I want to see a design. It better include a concrete easy chair, dammit.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2004 07:46 am (UTC)
Love those dangerous playgrounds. My favorite was my school playground in Cleveland/ Tall jungle gyms and climbing ladders above solid asphault -- no sand or wood shavings for us.
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
Real slides, climbing frames and roundabouts. I was *almost* old enough not to mind so much when they started being removed, but it's still sad to see what can pass for a playground now. At least there's still real swings.

When I was 8 or so I went to a park with a giant concrete hamster wheel thing. I don't know why that was so much fun, but it was. Then a big kid started running in it and I went all the way up to the top of it before I fell. I cried. I was fine though, and it was still a cool thing.
[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]
Date:August 11th, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC)
My school had the rural playground made of junkyard tires half-buried in the dirt for hornet-infested tunnels and climbing structures made out of sawed-off telephone poles (and more tires!) On a hot day, the creosote on the poles bubbled, which meant you could stick the splinters you got in a patch of creosote and make yourself a porcupine pal.

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