March 24, 2010

Brown Stoner Gets Results On Bed Stuy 'Jail' Playground


The timeline on the story of this ill-advised "Jail" playground structure in the middle of a Bed-Stuy housing project is complicated, so please try to hold your weary cynicism and/or jawdropping outrage until everything's settled, m'kay?

On Sunday, Monifa Bandele's photo of the Jail jungle gym was posted at Black and Brown News, along with open letter-style demands to the NYC Housing Authority, the Mayor, and the playground company to identify whose idea it was to put a play jail in the middle of a community with one of the highest incarceration rates in the state. BBN gave the city 24 hours to buff this thing, and it started calling around to see what's what. The result: the typical-sounding runaround.

Today, Brownstoner picks up the story this morning--Brownstoner run by very nice folks who happen to be white ex-hedge fund managers, I know them, they're lovely--and it explodes with 300+ comments. It also makes it sound like the playground just went up, which is not quite what BBN had said.

And lo and behold, by the time the NY Times City Room Blog picks it up this afternoon, there are NYCHA maintenance workers buffing and repainting the thing, and the manufacturer's clammed up, and there's a city investigation over who could possibly have approved such a thing.

Except it also turns out that the playground's been there since 2004, "JAIL" and all, and that at least one resident mom said she'd given up complaining about it and just up and painted it over herself a couple of years ago--and that someone put the jail sign back. Also, there's another playjail in the NYCHA system, in an undisclosed location, which is surely being buffed as I type.

(Image of the Day) 'Jail Playground' at NYC Public Housing Property [blackandbrownnews]
Playground Jail in Bed Stuy Sparking Outrage [brownstoner]
A 'Jail' for Children Stirs a Ruckus in Brooklyn [nytimes]

1 Comment

My 8 year old daughter and her homeschooled never known any one in prison don't watch television friends love to play jail. I don't know where they get it from but they would love this playground.

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