Seniors Get their Groove Back

Written By Adam Rothstein | August 15, 2011
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In contrast to our traditional notions that playgrounds are for children, John Jay Park on Manhattan’s Upper East Side has announced the creation of a play-area for senior citizens. Within its boundaries there already exists an area designed for children, which features a section aimed to entertain toddlers as well as a pool and water fountains for older children. However, with the help of Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, the chair of the NYC Council’s Aging Committee, the project has procured $250,000 to transform the Southeast corner of the park on 76th street between York Avenue and FDR Drive into the perfect place for mature New Yorkers to relax and exercise. And of course, into the ideal setting for senior-style frivolity.

John Jay Park is already a big draw for residents of both luxury rentals and luxury condominiums on the Upper East Side, especially those living within the East 70s. Aside from the aforementioned playgrounds, it also includes handball and basketball courts, thus enticing a wide range of patrons. The plan for the seniors' play area would not only feature stone-table chess boards, but also a myriad of exercise equipment aimed to help mature Manhattanites stay healthy and enjoy a higher quality of life. The section that was chosen, however, is currently the favorite spot of dog walkers, with its popularity stemming from its wide promenade as well as its abundance of trees. Instead of rising up to protect their own special area within the park, dog walkers have decided to support the project. As Thais Gardel, a 24 year old who often walks several dogs in the area explains, “I think this park has really good space and we can all share.” In the end, sharing is caring; and if this project is a success, residents of the Upper East Side will share in the benefits it promises to bestow upon this exciting Manhattan neighborhood.

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