Brooklyn Heights Playgrounds Open Thread

BHB Photo by C. Scales

On last week’s Hidden Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour,  I made a quip that the  “Harry Chapin Playground is where kids who don’t want to deal with the social brinksmanship over at the Pierrpont Playground hang out.”    Some folks seem to agree.  Am I on to something?  Does each park have it’s own unique “clientèle”?    Is there some sort of Mama Caste system?   Comment away!

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  • nabeguy

    HC playground always been a toddler playground as far back as I can remember, even when I was on the splintery wood see-saw in the late 50’s. It’s more about age development than social stratification.

  • bhmom3

    What do you mean by social brinksmanship in terms of the Pierrepont Playground??

  • tb

    I would also like to address the “rumor” traveling through the nanny circles and ask the question how could a rumor get to that level.
    (If you didn’t hear it, it was about a tragedy involving a small child and NOT TRUE)

  • harumph

    @tb the nanny circle is known for their rumor mill – they don’t sit around talking sweetly about the families they work for, or other nanny’s on the playground…mostly it is negative stuff, trying to make their day more exciting and interesting…why get involved in it?

  • Monty

    I’ve personally witnessed nannies being harsh or inattentive or disparaging of their employer to other nannies. Nothing to call the cops over. These rumors/reports pretty much always come from stay-at-home moms who like express their sense of superiority (or justify their decision to not hire a nanny). Kinda lame. Most nannies I see are great.

    Pierrepont Playground is really good. It’s segregated into a toddler section and older kids section. It can be troublesome when a parent lets an older kid into the toddler section and they run roughshod over little kids. Usually, it’s not a problem though. It also gets crowded. It’s right on the promenade so it attracts people from all around as opposed to Harry Chapin which is pretty much only locals. We use both pretty frequently with our two year old.

  • George Earl

    Nannies, learn your manners, girls! All too often, some nannies insist on pushing their employees’ babies “three-nannies-wide” down our sidewalks. Chatting away with other nannies, they seldom see that other Heights residents are attempting to walk by them, often on the way to their jobs–where they can earn enough money to keep otherwise-unemployed nannies off the food lines. I’ve sometimes politely asked if I may walk by them on our sidewalks, only to get what some call “dirty looks.”

  • Dan

    Does anyone know who’s responsible for unlocking the playgrounds? There have been a bunch of Saturday mornings recently when Chapin was still locked around 8-8:30am.

    And I would agree that the only real breakdown between the playgrounds is by age – Chapin is really geared to toddlers.

  • SML

    I would agree with the other post that the playgrounds are stratified mostly by age.

    HC is defintely the most toddler friendly (although using it as a dumping ground for old plastic toys used to drive me batty – I’m all for hand-me-downs and recycling, but most of the stuff was ready for the trash).

    Pierrepont has a mix of equipment that is good for siblings of different ages. It does get very crowded on nice weather weekends. My eight-year-old son seems to have “aged out” of Pierrepont and really prefers the open space of Cadman Plaza.

    Dumbo playground is great, but really hot in the summer (no shade) and freezing in winter (wind).

    Pier 6 is large enough that it has something for everyone and definitely welcomed by our family!

  • tb

    The rumor I was referring to was about the death of a 4yo.. something that got way out of hand and caused a great deal of unnecessary concern and fear. It wasn’t the average “playground talk”

  • KK

    I usually appreciate BHB, but this is a pretty obnoxious post. Clearly, you don’t have a toddler or a child who enjoys the sprinklers, which are two reasons you would go to HC.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with KK, I love BHB, but this post sucks. What’s with “mama caste system”? there are plenty of dads and nannies at both playgrounds every day.
    Like others have said, the main difference is by age. Chapin is great bc of the sprinkler, toddler-sized equipment, and sandbox. Pierrepont is great for the ability to go with 2 children of different ages, plus it’s shadier.

  • bhmom3

    One of my big pet peeves are parents/nannies who don’t watch their kids who go into the swing area at Pierrepont, then the kids walk or run behind or in front of my kids as they swing. What are these people thinking?

  • nabeguy

    tb, thanks for clearing up that wife had heard it and was horrified, although I was pretty sure that it was more a case of overactive-imaginations on the part of under-motivated nannies.

  • Anonymous

    @Velvetflip: I always see a lot of parents texting or on their phones also. I see nannies talking on the phones, but parents texting/surfing.
    Then again, i am always taking pics of my kid with the iPhone, and it might look to others as texting all the time.

  • ABC

    Agree. I see more parents on smart phones than nannies.

  • N

    Has anyone had a child spike a fever after playing at Harry Chapin Playground?

    My son has experienced this 3 times in 6 months. The first time he was about 8 months old. Each time he played at Harry Chapin in the water and/or the sandbox. Each time he woke up early the next morning with a temperature of over 102 degrees. This last time it was 104.2. Very scary and strange, and playing at HC is the only consistent factor. The doctor couldn’t figure it out, but I am beginning to think there is a link (virus? bacteria?) to HC.