Brooklyn Bridge Park’s big cover up!

The Brooklyn Paper
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The metallic orbs in the funky playground in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park are literally scalding the children!

The cries of the little tykes and sizzling of burning flesh got so bad in Wednesday’s 86-degree weather that workers in the Pier 1 segment of the proposed park installed festival tents above the 125-plus-degree steel mounds to shade them.

“When we came the first time it was nice, until he got burned!” said Lisa Bruno, the nanny for a sensitive young 3-year-old named, appropriately enough given the heat, August. “Now I won’t even let him get near the toys. What were they thinking when they installed these?”

A little later, park-goers used a newfangled digital thermometer on the unusable half-orbs, revealing that the temperature was a whopping 127.9 degrees — just 30 degrees less than the frying point of an egg!

The workers had posted signage earlier this week warning parents and caregivers of the dangerous play equipment: “Steel dome play structures can be hot,” the sign said. “Once the tree canopy fills in we expect the shade provided will alleviate this condition.”

But the trees didn’t grow fast enough to muffle the screams coming from the foot of Old Fulton Street. Festival tents were put up at about 1 pm Wednesday to shade each of three climbing domes.

Park developers were surprised when they started receiving complaints from parents last week, but said they’re looking at some quick fixes.

“Injuries are our worst fear — that’s why we’ve put up the tents,” said Beth Mitchell, spokeswoman for the Empire State Development Corporation. “The London Plane trees we’ve planted around the steel fill out early in the spring and get really leafy. They will help a lot in the next few weeks.”

Even state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights), an outspoken Brooklyn Bridge Park advocate, is on the case, saying that he will question the equipment’s manufacturers as well as seek a “reflective coating” that can cool off the structures.

But until developers find a permanent answer, the question remains: what went wrong? Other manufacturers said metal is an easy and obvious red flag when planning any playground.

“I don’t think stainless steel facing direct sunlight is wise,” said Danny Bears, owner of the New York equipment company, BEARS. “I’m amazed that temperatures were reaching those levels in a playground. But I also don’t think it’s a hard problem to overcome.”

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Updated with more details.
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Reasonable discourse

Resident of Bk Heights from Brooklyn Heights says:
"The cries of the little tykes and sizzling of burning flesh"--gee, sensationalize much, Brooklyn Paper? Come on. You don't have to be so dramatic (there are also too many exclamation points in this article).
April 7, 2010, 1:51 pm
Brooklyn from Park says:
See in the photo how that little kid is perfectly fine climbing on the marble animal? Why didn't they just put in more climbing items in that material?
April 7, 2010, 3:10 pm
Matthew Parker from Bklyn Heights says:

Clearly Andy was absent that day in journalism school they taught that the overuse of exclamation marks is a sign of cheap sensationalist writing.

Perhaps you also saw Andy's first article about BBP two weeks ago. Not only fake sensationalism, but a completely fabricated premise.

Keep calling out the Brooklyn Paper and their "reporters" on subpar "journalism".

Brooklyn deserves better.
April 7, 2010, 5:58 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
I said it once and I'll say it again" This park is junk".
April 7, 2010, 8:27 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
“I don’t think stainless steel facing direct sunlight is wise,” said Danny Bears, owner of the New York equipment company, BEARS. “I’m amazed that temperatures were reaching those levels in a playground. But I also don’t think it’s a hard problem to overcome.” Remove the domes now before any lawsuits!
April 7, 2010, 8:33 pm
Lisa (guess) from Carroll Gardens says:
@ Resident and Matthew Parker, Yes! And he misquoted and misused an exclamation point in the quote. The kid DID NOT GET BURNED! I did tell him not to play on them today. The first time we went, on a cooler day, I told him to stay on the side that was not facing the sun, which was cool to the touch. All in all the park is a good thing. I do wonder what they were thinking when they put them in. Or at least what the park was thinking opening it before the trees bear enough leaves to cover them.
April 7, 2010, 8:41 pm
Thronston_Marcus from Brooklyn Heights says:
I had written 3 weeks ago when this section of the park opened and I pointed out the poor play area design. I was not even sure what these domes are for except to climb on, slip and bang your head. I had not even thought an 85 degree day could burn children. What the heck! And to put in 3 of them is just stupid. This young child area is so boring, void of creativity that the designers as well as the whole park committee should be embarrassed. Just another example of our tax dollars being wasted. Can't wait to see what else this group has planned for the rest of the park as so far it seems like a bunch of walkways and promenades. And has everyone noted the ugly telephone pole like lighting. Totally disgusting. Looks like construction site lighting.
April 8, 2010, 8:07 am
Doug Biviano from Brooklyn Heights says:
The domes are just one of the smaller examples of an abstract park design detached from community input and would be users of the park. In this case, it could result in injury but definitely in waste. Stock Stainless Steel items are a real fortune, never mind custom architectural shapes.

But the real waste -- and perhaps a primary reason the park is hundreds of millions of dollars in cost and needs to be built in phases -- is all of the fill and earthwork needed to build 3 story mountains on the water front that look as unnatural as a landfill on Jamaica Bay. Landfills and berms are simply not natural features on river fronts and I wonder why they were ever part of the design elements and continue to be in this economic crisis.

To save tens of millions of dollars in waste, there is still time to scrap the 3 story berm planned to run the length of Furman Street. Instead, two affordable baseball diamonds can be built or some other active use features determined by the community stake holders, not architects and development corporations.
April 8, 2010, 10:27 am
Bklyn Hghts Res. from Bklyn Hghts Res. says:
“Steel dome play structures can be hot. Once the tree canopy fills in we expect the shade provided will alleviate this condition.”...should they write this warning in a different language? Maybe one more suitable for retards to understand?
April 8, 2010, 11:13 am
Concerned Parent from Brooklyn Heights says:
I've brought my two girls there several times and so far the "Hot Domes" haven't been an issue. Maybe it's because we go early before the sun has had a chance to raise the temperature. I don't think they should remove them, but they have to do something. Can they close the park during the hot hours of the day? Maybe replace the small trees with a permanant shade structures? My daughter's daycare have some that even protect against UV radiation. Something to think about in these times of Ozone depletion, though I'd hate waiting for the park to re-open if they closed it for construction again. My advice: wait for the trees to bloom.
April 8, 2010, 11:37 am
Andrea from Gowanus says:
Sizzling flesh - blech! What a load of hyped-up nonsense. When it is 80 degrees hot outside the black plastic of baby swings gets really hot too - will you be running an article on that next, or demanding that we stop putting swings in park before a lawsuit ensues? Plastic slides get hot too, so do benches, play surfaces, and blacktop - or hasn't anyone else ever noticed this?

Some adult posters may be bored by the play area, but maybe that's because it is not intended for them. My kids loved it. And it's not because the domes are "abstract" as someone suggested above (my children aren't that rarified), it's because kids understand how to use play equipment better than adults do (climb! roll! slide!).
April 8, 2010, 1:47 pm
Bob from Brooklyn Heights says:
Hey, why not leave boxes of matches around, and some old newspapers, and ask kids to learn how to make a fire. Or a box of knives and play Iron Chef.

This is just stupid.

Whoever selected these domes and whoever permitted their placement tarred and feathered ... fried ... or at the very least, FIRED!
April 8, 2010, 3:52 pm
Duh from Sheepshead Bay says:
As I recall when I was growing up, the slides at every park in New York were hot on summer days too, as were the swings. It was a given that parents and children alike seemed to be able to overcome. If common sense is really that lost on today's society and the "Orbs" are indispensible, perhaps they could paint them with White IMRON, a paint which is highly reflective, durable and easy to keep clean.
April 8, 2010, 9:49 pm
james from ??? says:
I'm not from Brooklyn scratch that I'm not even from New York, but I am from Texas and it gets extremely hot here in the summer, and as a kid I remember walking barefoot in 100 weather on asphalt, but we kept from burning our feet by walking on the white painted stripes, so instead waisting even more money either use some common sense as a parent and or like "Duh from Sheepshead bay" stated previously paint them white, it doesn't really take a braniac to figure that one out.
April 10, 2010, 1:28 pm

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