Friday, May 31, 2013

Peaceful Playgrounds - Playing Nice At Recess

At recess, some kids roam around aimlessly while others hover in groups, conspiring. Some kids pretend they are eagles flying around. Inevitably, someone gets hurt by a bruised knee or ego. The underdeveloped brain needs law and order. Here is a great alternative. Peaceful Playgrounds.

The playground includes over 50 games like Four Square, Jolly ball, Pickle, Around the World, Sideline Basketball and many more.
View great pictures on their blog

Here are cool examples of an asphalt transformation by the Boston Schoolyard Initiative.



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Charlestown Navy Yard Playground and Fountain

The Charlestown Navy Yard Park has a unique, massive, mind-blowing feature. No. Not Old Ironsides. Beyond the cute tot spot and perfectly maintained trees and green lawns is this concrete hole with steps and platforms. It has all the features of a swimming pool, kitchen sink, Egyptian pyramid, Roman fountain and a water treatment plant. I thought I knew a thing or two about Boston parks, so why wasn't this on my radar? Maybe because from the satellite view on Google maps, it looks like a concrete crop circle. Turns out it's a fountain with an identity crisis as it's many things to many people...a wading pool, water park and a skateboarder's paradise. We'll be returning this summer to see what it was intended for and how people are using it. 

Apparently, there is a debate about it's use and safety. Hopefully, this fountain can define it's purpose and significance along the HarborWalk and Freedom Trail.


The playground gets it done. It has a nice canopy over the sandbox. There is visitor parking available along the street next to the park. This beautiful and peaceful spot is just a quick walk from Old Ironsides. There are great views of the city just beyond the paved, tree-lined paths. 


Another unique feature of this park is the interactive Korean War Memorial. When you approach the Memorial, motion sensors cue up a narrative about the war and the Massachusetts Veterans. The statue is magnificent. On a windy day, the soldier's sweeping jacket brings him to life as he braces against the wind.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The North End Loop - A Hopper's Dream

The North End Loop is just a dream. Imagine being able to walk from the North End to the newly designed family hang-out called City Hall Plaza. Like the elevated 93, the concrete slab of City Hall Plaza will crumble and be replaced by little water fountains for toddlers, big benches, shade, playful elements like a massive hammock, swings that make music and little sculptures to climb, just like in the Greenway. Fun worth taking your toddler out of the carriage for. There will be concerts, food festivals and farmer's markets. Cool stuff for everyone, all year round.

Can't you just picture these swings along the loop! Well, until then, the hopping continues.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Natural Shade

Can't stress enough how landscape architecture is your baby's best friend. The search continues. The bending, twisting and grooming of trees and scrubs is just pure fun for older kids. We found something similar at Weezie's Garden in Wellesley pictured below. Another spot to consider is Houghton's Pond in Milton. Next to the new bathhouse is a grouping of evergreens that hangs over a perfect little picnic spot and baby swings. Better pictures on the way. Promise.

And what Mom doesn't want to feel the love of a tree protecting her baby from the sun. 

Faux natural works for me.