Mar 30

151. Heitzman Rec Center

 

[map to come]

Zora, Jai, and I spent about an hour playing tag on this neighborhood playground, overlooked by what appears to be an abandoned factory for the Sterling Paper Company.  While we played, a freight train, which had been idling on the tracks that run next to the playground, came to life and moved out, while kids and adults on the basketball court and the baseball field continued playing.  Like a lot of neighborhood playgrounds, there’s nothing particularly unique about this spot, except perhaps the old stand-alone sliding board.  But also like a lot of neighborhood playgrounds, I’m sure a lot of neighbors spend time here on the playgrounds, fields, and swimming pool, especially on days when it’s not quite so gloomy as the day we visited.

30 heitzman 04 30 heitzman 03 30 heitzman 02 30 heitzman 01Philly Parks & Rec page

Facebook page

Visited: March 2015

Mar 28

150. Samuel Rec Center

 

 

[map to come]

This slice of playground has two play structures and a large red and blue padded play area.  On the day we visited, it was grey and a little bit cold.  It seems like it would be a much nicer place to be once the leaves are on the trees.  Instead, I’ll remember this playground mostly because there is a large cemetery across the street, not because of the equipment itself.  For a little nostalgia, check out out the 1962 photo of the swing sets at the playground posted below.

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Samuel Rec Center from 1962:

samuel1962Facebook page

Philly Parks & Rec page

Visited: March 2015

 

Mar 28

149. Monkiewicz Playground

[map to come]

This is a great site and it’s got a lot going on: a pool, basketball courts, tennis courts, a baseball field, a rec building, and two playgrounds: one for bigger kids and one for smaller ones.  It’s also in a most unfortunate location, dropped down between I-95 to the east and busy Richmond Street to the west.  Plus, it’s across the street from a Wawa and Sunoco (neither of which, by the way, have public bathrooms.)  But for such a bad location, it does well for itself.  We kicked the soccer ball around for awhile and climbed on the retro rainbow triplets.  It’s hard to escape the noise and motion of I-95, but if you have to be this close to it, you might as well be playing on a playground.

32 monkiewicz 03 32 monkiewicz 02 32 monkiewicz 01Facebook page

Philly Parks & Rec Site

Visited: March 2015

Mar 28

148. Stokley Rec Center

[map to come]

One of the cool things about documenting our visits to playgrounds over several years is that I get to look back at photos of Zora and remember how she interacted with playgrounds when she was 3 or 4 compared to how she interacts with them today when she’s 6.  I remember, for instance, when she was too scared to climb up the retro climbing rainbows they have at Stokley Rec Center.  But when we visited Stokley, she mounted them carefully, but determinedly.  It didn’t hurt that her friend Jai was there to encourage her.  Stokley is a solid rec center, but nothing particularly absorbing.  I couldn’t help but think how things would really be much more pleasant if they planted some trees around the playground.

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June 2014 article on the playground (with video!)

Visited: March 2015

Mar 28

147. Cohocksink (Cohox) Rec Center

[map to come]

A lot of pavement surrounds the playground, but beyond the playground are large playing fields and a swimming pool.  We visited this playground on a cloudy Sunday afternoon with Zora’s friend, Jai.  The play structures captured some of their attention, but mostly we played soccer, using the large red wall in the first picture below as the goal.  It’s squarely in the middle of a neighborhood of two-story rows.  The ground surfaces have been beaten up pretty badly and are desperately in need of repair.
34 cohocksink 0134 cohocksink 06 34 cohocksink 05 34 cohocksink 04 34 cohocksink 03 34 cohocksink 02Facebook page

Philly Parks & Rec page

 

Visited: March 2015