NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, February 12, 2003

FRIDAY AFTERNOON FEVER


Photo by Spencer T Tucker

From all outward appearances last Friday, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was a beautiful, tranquil, and quiet destination. Nearly a half-foot of snow covered the tennis courts, the ballfields and the remaining 1,255 acres that make up Queens' largest park. One might have even looked at the park and called it "sleepy."

That person would have been wrong. You see, inside the walls of the frost-covered Passerelle Recreation Center, music was playing, feet were stomping, and personalities were converging: a party was brewing. For the past four years, seniors who participate in Parks & Recreation's senior programs around the entire city have put on their dancing shoes for the annual Valentine's Day Senior Dance. In spite of Friday's snowstorm, more than fifty seniors arrived at the center to enjoy some food, conversation, & and the Electric Slide.

"If you want to see real dancing, this is the place to come," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe of the event. "These lively Terpsichores could teach us all a thing or two about how to cut a rug."

Patrick "Pat" Stasi, for one, could hardly be kept off the dance floor. "I've had an excellent time, and even though the weather was bad, we made it," said the Bronx resident. In addition to playing pool with other seniors and some staff members, Stasi danced the Jitterbug. Stasi, a participant in the senior programming at the Owen Dolen Recreation Center in the Bronx, appreciated socializing with fellow dance-enthusiasts from around the city.

One such dancer was Brooklyn resident Constance Toomer, who danced the Jitterbug along with Stasi. "Pat's a lot of fun," Toomer said of her dance partner. "It's always good to mingle with people. The human spirit is what matters most."

"First I was doing the electric slide and then I started doing my own thing," said Elouise McLeod of Jamaica, Queens. "My own thing is a combination from the 50's, 60's, and 70's." Among the moves she knew, McLeod listed her favorites: "the Slop", "the Hitchhiker," and "the Jerk."

"We try to get centers together from every part of the City," said the ever-cheerful Passerelle Recreation Center Manager Jackie Brown. "Who knows what might happen. You might meet a friend and that certainly happened today." Brown explained that the recreation center hosts other parties throughout the year, including a holiday party in December.

The annual dance represents one of the many activities Parks & Recreation offers to seniors in all five boroughs, including fitness and stretching programs, arts & crafts, computer classes, games and trips. Every year, Parks & Recreation reaches out to over a million neighborhood children and adults at its 36 recreational centers, offering educational and fun afterschool programs such as Learn-to-Play sports clinics, specialized art classes, job training courses, and citywide athletics tournaments.

The next time you pass along what seems like a sleepy park scene, remember the example set by this effervescent group: that neither wind, nor rain, nor sleet or snow should keep someone from dancing, staying active, and living it up.

Written by Eric Adolfsen

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain;
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom;
and that government of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln
Address at Gettysburg
(February 12, 1809-1865)

Directions to Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Flushing Meadows Corona Park Weather

  • Thu
    Breezy
    61°F
  • Fri
    Chance Showers
    63°F
  • Sat
    Chance Showers
    67°F
  • Sun
    Mostly Sunny
    62°F

7-day forecast

Was this information helpful?