We are proud to share a guest post from Miguel Salamanca (pictured with his son Jeremy), a newer member of the NYC Dads Group who joins us from the Bronx. Salamanca has agreed to become our new event organizer in the Bronx area planning meet up events for active and nurturing dads in his local borough of the Bronx. Additionally, Salamanca is unique in creating a new resource for dads and other parents – a website called “A Dad’s Guide To NYC Parks & Playgrounds.” The site is billed as a “Blog for all dads and parents alike that are clueless of what New York City parks and playgrounds have to offer based on Salamancas’ and his childrens’ recommendations and ratings.” Please check out his site & check out this cross post he recently did on one of my all-time favorite playgrounds (or should I say my son’s)- Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side.
Hello. My name is Miguel Salamanca, and I am a member of the New York City (NYC) Dads Meetup Group. With this membership, I receive updates to great events all over NYC and beyond to take my children to. Today, my son and I chose to visit Carl Schurz Park & Playground located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan were dads from the NYC Dads Group community would be meeting up.
My first impression upon entering the park was that it was beautiful and well maintained. Jeremy (my son) and I walked by an outstanding dog park filled with large dogs playing in the sand with their owners. We loved that very much. We could see opposite from where we were standing that there was a water hose flowing with water to quench the thirst of the big dogs. Next, we found a basketball court and finally, just a little bit up the hill, we found the playground. As we entered the playground, my first thoughts were “wow there is a lot going on here.” For the most part, I have found many playgrounds have the same straight-line view from play area to play area. Not this time, this was different! Whoever designed this park mapped it out perfectly. As we walked in, the first thing to see was a toddler swing area complete with 12 swings, an infant climbing area followed by a few benches to sit, and a sand lot for children to play. For the bigger kids there was a separate enclosed park, taller more advanced climbing places to swing and slide down. Continuing around the circle, we can see a large spiral slide where my son and I took turns sliding down and climbing up. He had the better deal with the slide because he sat on my lap while I took the bruises on the way down. I hit a bump every time! Next, could be found a bouncing bridge and set of chain monkey bars and two more slides. One was made of individual rollers and the other was a shorter metal slide. I was very impressed by the built in seats that could be found in the slide towers. My son kept asking me to sit with him. Of course, I did. After the slide towers, we could see the four swings for bigger kids. Lastly, were the Men and Women’s bathrooms. In the center of the playground was a very large sprayground play area where children can get wet in the sprinklers that are built into the ground.
We arrived and settled in right where I wanted to be at the Sand Lot. This is where our host from the NYC Dads Group, Bryan Grossbauer said he would be. I was only one of four men in the park so one of these men had to be him. I was not sure what he looked like so I just let things play out. Not long after, Bryan approached me. I have to say, I have never been happier to meet a perfect stranger then today. He was very friendly and caring for his little boy named Finn. I listened to his story and he listened to mine. That was really something that I am always looking for when I go to visit any playground (another parent to listen and talk to). I was also able to meet two other caring dads who were spending time with their children. Each of them were also very friendly. One shared a very funny story about his baby girl who one day so innocently hit a golden retriever so hard in the face that dad could do nothing but high tail it out of the way of the dog and hope that the owner did not see what had happened. (I hope I got the dog description correct). Fun times and many laughs.
We enjoyed this playground immensely. Dads and parents- you will not find a baby changing station in the bathroom. I recommend you bring some kind of mat to change the baby. The bathrooms where clean and well stocked. I walked the entire perimeter of the playground and found only one entrance open. I thought that could present a fire hazard in the event of some kind of emergency. Nevertheless, I could see it clearly marked that the only other entry way is open at other times of the day. So not too big a deal. This playground was very active with over 20 nannies and mothers with their children playing before 1:30pm. Bryan tells me the park gets crowded when the kids get out of school in the late afternoon. Most everyone was friendly and engaged with their kids. I was impressed by this. I will rate this park a best five out of five. I love this park. A must visit place for you and yours.