The Swing Set

Words by Channing Prend and Mabel Taylor

Illustrations by Darya Fraiman

In search of their inner children, Mabel Taylor and Channing Prend took a gander to some neighborhood playgrounds. What follows is a testimony to their lost innocence. 

MORNINGSIDE PARK 

Slide Velocity: **

Particularly low friction coefficient.

Patrons: *

There is a clear hierarchy in place for line formation. As a newcomer, I was unaware of the office politics and inadvertently stepped on the toes of the park’s top dog, Billy. I was subsequently shunned by the rest of the children.

Maximum Swing Height: ***

Decent elevation. Not bad!

Atmosphere: **

My experience was colored by my initial faux pas in the line for the jungle gym.

Accessibility: *

The equipment is top notch, but probably not worth the trip down to Morningside given the grueling uphill walk back to campus. If you do make the trek, watch out for Billy “The Hammer.”

 

117TH & RIVERSIDE

Slide Velocity: ***

It does the job!

Patrons: ****

Now this is what I am talking about! Those kids are like an angel’s asscheek. Sweet, round, and soft. I wanted to stare at them for hours. God damn this society and its regressive understanding of love!

Sandto Box Ratio: *

Let me put it this way: I’ve been to the Sahara, I’ve been to the Gobi, I’ve been to Patagonia, and this sandbox made me feel like I was standing in a pile of cat litter.

Maximum Swing Height: ****

Once I read an article about a twelve-year old girl who got stuck in a baby swing and had to be cut out of it by the fire department. Now I understand.

Zipline: ****

I felt not unlike Tarzan swinging through the jungles of the Congo.

113TH & RIVERSIDE

Slide Velocity: *

Never have I ever been so disappointed by a puddle of urine. Slide moisture may have been a factor in the unusually slow speed.

Patrons: *

You call these children? More like elves with alopecia. Call me when you get some kids who don’t make me want to sew my eyelids together.

Maximum Swing Height: ****

Pretty good. If I were the kind of person who wanted to fly, I would be moderately satisfied with these swings. I would call a plumber though because those pipes look rickety.

Structural Integrity of Monkey Bars: ssssssssss

I am a grown woman and these withstood my weight with aplomb.

Zipline: *

The zipline was not in service and there was no indication of when it will be back in operation.

Accessibility: ****

This playground’s greatest strength is its proximity to campus. The facilities are enough for a quick fix but will not sustainably satiate your need to play.

96TH & RIVERSIDE

Slide Velocity: *****

I slid down this slide and the whole world slid with me. I slid down this slide and I felt my troubles drift away. I slid down this slide and landed feet first in a dream land that you probably couldn’t even comprehend. I slid down this slide and I felt joy.

Patrons: **

A child was wearing a Lehman Brothers parka. Did his father once work there, or is he being ironic?

Maximum Swing Height: **

I don’t know if this is a matter of shorter chains or a taller swing-hanger, but I would have really appreciated more air beneath my tuckus.

Dinosaurs: *****

Dinosaurs might be extinct, but my love for play sure ain’t! Ride on down to 96th and Riverside for a bit of jurassic fun. Dinosaurs are still kicking in the 20 block radius.

Accessibility: ***

Slightly farther from campus, but well worth the trip if you have a free afternoon to commit to playing. Dinosaurs are a huge draw. Try to go early though to avoid the rush.

 

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