Oct 27

141. 33rd & Wallace Playground

[map to come]

When Zora and I started this project, we rode our bicycles to the first 40 playgrounds.  They were all within two miles of our house.  By now, when we go out to have a playground adventure, it typically means that we need to first drive for more than half an hour before we get to a playground we have not yet visited.  But today we found a playground we had overlooked.  On a sunny, blustery autumn Sunday afternoon, on our way down to watch some boats race on the Schuylkill River (as part of the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta), we stopped by the 33rd & Wallace Playground.  This playground, just a few blocks from the house that I used to live in 15 years ago, has two great pieces of equipment plus hopscotch and more.   They even have a see-saw.  For the first time, Zora was able to balance me out by sitting way back on one side while I saw way up on the other side.  Seeing her delight at her new-found ability, I started to try to explain levers and Archimedes and simple machines.  Seeing her confusion, I stopped.


Philly Playground Project (not yet reviewed.)

Visited: October 2014

Oct 27

140. Drexel Park

[map coming]

True, there are no playgrounds in Drexel Park, just above the tracks in West Philly.  So why is it included on this blog?  Well, it’s a great place to run around and play soccer or frisbee.  Not so good for hide-and-seek, as Zora pointed out, because there aren’t many good hiding places.  But it’s really here because I lived in this neighborhood back in the 1990s when this lot was a cyclone-fenced-in barren swatch of rubble.  And now, look at this view.  It’s extraordinary.  Given Drexel’s pace of building lately, it might be built on soon or the view might be blocked by construction over the tracks, but for now, this is such a lovely park to hang out in, it really deserved a spot here.

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Philly Playground Project (not yet reviewed)

Visited: October 2014

Oct 27

139. Cruz Rec Center Playground

72 cruz rec ctrThe playground at Cruz Rec Center has one of the longest play structures that I can recall ever seeing at a playground.  The thing just goes on for about 60 feet.  On the sunny Sunday afternoon that we visited, it was marked by a memorial bench on one end and a geodesic dome on the other.  Zora’s getting braver every day, it seems.  There was a time when she wouldn’t go near that dome, but now she slowly, tentatively climbs it.  Not to the top, yet, but she’s pushing herself.  As Zora hung upstairs from the dome by her knees, I chatted with the two girls that were also hanging out at the playground.  They had a cute puppy, just weeks old.  The puppy’s sister was also adopted by their friend who lives just across the street from the playground.  While they petted and pampered their dog, a dozen or so middle-aged guys played softball in the field under the shadow of a long-abandoned eight-story graffiti-scarred industrial building.

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Philly Playground Project (visited: 6/20/10)

Visited: September 2014


Oct 27

138. 8th & Diamond Playground

71 8th and diamondThis is a small, well-kept playground within spittin’ distance of Temple University.  Zora and I played a few heated games of tic-tac-toe and tag on the equipment.  We only left, really, because I had made vague promises of getting lunch on Temple’s campus.  So after checking out the well-tended garden beds, we hustled over a few blocks for a burrito.

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Philly Playground Project (reviewed: 10/21/10)

Visited: September 2014


Oct 27

136. Spruce Street Harbor Park

The playgrounds that Zora and I document on this site have a few things in common: (1) they’re all in Philly; (2) they all have playground equipment or otherwise have something interesting that attracts us to them; and (3) they’re all available to the public and free.  But I bend the rules sometimes for really cool places like Bartram’s Gardens which doesn’t really have any playground equipment.  Here’s another exception: the Spruce Street Harbor Park.  Not only didn’t it have any traditional playground equipment, but it was only here for a limited period during the summer 2014.  But it was super amazing.  So amazing, in fact, that drawing a map was just impossible: there was just too much to capture.  Hammocks.  Big Connect Fours and Chess games.  Air hockey.  Lounges selling beer along the Delaware River.  Misters.  And much more.  With luck, this pop-up park will pop up again in summer 2015.

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Website from the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation

Visited: August 2014