Tuesday, July 31, Matthews-Palmer playground formally re-opened after closing well over a year ago for renovation. Some of us doubted it would reopen. Such is New York City.
Located across the street from the venerable Hartley House, the playground has been a cornerstone of Hell's Kitchen childhood and community since it opened in 1937 as the 45th Street Playground.
The playground is currently named after HK social activists May Matthews and Alexandra Palmer.
Thank you to the elected and city officials who worked to improve our beloved space: New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried. As well as our local representatives: Steve Fanto of the West 45th/46th Street Block Association and Lowell Kern, co-chairperson of Community Board 4’s Waterfront, Parks & Environment Committee.
After the ribbon-cutting, Hell's Kitchen family enjoyed music by Unintended Consequences, food generously donated by HK businesses like Friendly's Hot Dogs, and a very cool historical exhibit curated by McKhellen Diaz of Hell's Kitchen Generations.
Last but not least, yo-yo performer Justin Weber enthralled all ages.
E. B. Gallardo