Stanley Isaacs Playground
The Daily Plant : Monday, October 23, 2000
KITES IN FLIGHT AT THE GREAT LAWN
The Great Lawn was filled with kids and kites on Saturday as Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern joined hundreds of children at the Great Lawn for a fun-filled kite flying festival. With master sport kite team demonstrations and kite making, the event made for great fall fun. Two professional kite flyers performed choreographed routines throughout the day to the accompaniment of woodwind instruments.
STANLEY CUP AT STANLEY ISAACS
The newly renovated Stanley Isaacs Playground and the Paul L. McDermott hockey rink hosted a celebrity hockey game Saturday afternoon. In the rink were StarQuest, NY Ranger Adam Graves, former NHL player Pat La Fontaine, Actors Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins and Jeff Croft, president of the Stanley Isaacs Association League. The Stanley Cup was present in the room to inspire greatness in professionals and amateurs alike.
Parks celebrated the two renovations as a pair; one honored a prominent man in the history of New York City government who fought racial discrimination and averted the misuse of parklands, the other, a local hero who changed the lives of neighborhood hockey players.
The efforts to recreate these spaces for safer and more spacious recreation combined city funds and neighborhood efforts. Funding came from Requirements Contracts from the city and money raised by the Stanley Isaacs Park Association. Parks used the money to expand the playground area, add safety surfacing, new playground equipment, planting and benches, and a refurbished rink.
Stanley Isaacs, for whom the playground is named, served as Manhattan Borough President and as a New York City councilman. While in office, Isaacs worked with Parks Commissioner Robert Moses to complete one of the most significant feats of urban construction New York had ever seen, the building of the FDR drive. He advocated consistently for parks and prevented a lot from being built on land that is now a children’s playground. The New York Times called him “the conscience of our city government.”
The rink was dedicated to a long time coach and volunteer at the Stanley Isaac’s Playground, Paul L. McDermott, who used to tell league members “play hard, always give a good fight, but most of all, have fun.” In the spirit of McDermott’s words an eclectic group of hockey lovers initiated the rink with a friendly game.
Hockey is claiming the attention of more and more New York City athletes. To accommodate a boom in demand, Parks has undertaken the renovations of several rinks, in some cases building new ones.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
SCHOOLCHILDREN DIG INTO HISTORY OF RIVERDALE PARK
(Monday, October 26, 1987)
On Friday morning some New York City firth graders went along with a world famous naturalist from England on an archeology dig in Riverdale Park in the Bronx. The lives of earlier inhabitants of New York came alive as Sir David Attenborough and students from P.S. 28 in Manhattan poked around a grove of honey locusts where artifacts dating back 5,000 years have been discovered.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
I'm fanatical about sport: there seems to me something almost religious about the fact that human beings can organize play, the spirit of play.
Simon Gray (b. 1936)