Is Newer Better? A Playground Review

by Max Gast

A fresh, blue paint job. Brand new slides. Earlier in the year, my childhood stomping grounds, the playground on the boardwalk next to Park Place Avenue, was renovated. Now my job is to ask: New or old? Which is better? 

Most of the playground was changed, as you can see in the pictures displayed. The add-on part with the twin slides is gone. The rock wall and swings are still there, along with some other small things. Sadly, the very annoying drums were removed from the premises. They will be missed.

 In my opinion, the biggest changes were to the slides. No longer are there stairs leading up to the slides and the fire pole. Instead, on the complete opposite side, there are two twin slides where a rock wall used to be. There is a new rock wall to replace the old one on the side of the area with the twin slides.

The most disappointing part is it is now just one big playground. There used to be a smaller playground next to the big one, and they were tied together using monkey bars. It made a simple game of tag way more high stakes. This is because if someone was coming up on you, you could try and climb across at risk of your legs being able to get tagged. Also, the slide’s removal is kind of disappointing because it was replaced by three, much smaller, slides at the other sides. It may seem kind of dangerous but, on the old slide, I used to climb up the outside. That may be why there aren’t any closed slides.

If I’m going to be honest, the theme is a tad unoriginal, being reminiscent of a pirate ship. The pirate ship theme is always a go-to for beach playgrounds. You can see pirate-themed playgrounds in Avon and Belmar. The old playground really had no theme, and that was fine. The whale on the side that you’re supposed to climb up kind of reminds me of the beach playground in Asbury Park.

Even though I’m putting the playground in a kind of bad light, there are some good new changes. There are tunnels leading up to the peak with the slides and the rock wall. I believe that the swings got painted and they look really nice now. The colors are vibrant, attracting more kids compared to the old dull colors.  It’s hard to tell, but I think the new playground is smaller. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Now with all that down, we have to answer the big question. Which one is better? In my opinion, the old playground was way better. Also though, I feel like the new playground was made to be more for a younger age group. This is because the massive closed slide is gone, along with the firepole. Also, the flexible bridge is gone. There are more things to climb up than to walk, making it harder to trip.

Older students will find it hard to compare the two because, for a lot of us, that playground has been there forever. I do think that a new generation of kids who live in Bradley Beach will grow to love it. Kind of like we did. It may be sad to see it go, but it does open a new door for the kids of Bradley Beach.

All in all, I think the old playground was better than the new one, but that doesn’t mean the new one is bad. It just means that it is different. Different can be good, so I am going to leave it at that.

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