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Riverside Park Traveling Rings

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Recreation area for all age groups

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Upper West Side
Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Healthcare & Wellness

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Rebecca Hahn

The traveling rings at Hudson Beach in Riverside Park is a workout/play area for all ages. This is a unique community gathering spot where people from the neighborhood and all over the city gather in the warmer months. I’ve found this place to have a unusually friendly atmosphere--strangers talk to one another and teach each other to swing on the rings and balance on slacklines. I made some of my first friends in New York at the traveling rings, and some I have now been close friends with for over 10 years. This is the kind of place where you can show up and always run into friends without advanced planning. It’s also a place where I feel very safe--I ride my bike there and don’t lock it up. Parents bring their children and let them play freely in the sandbox. One community member further contributes by bringing hula hoops, pogo sticks and juggling balls for kids to play with, and sometimes large speakers to play music.

This spot features a large sandbox with two sets of traveling rings--one for adults and one for kids, along with beach volleyball courts. Adjacent to the sandbox are ping pong tables and pull up bars. There is also a cafe adjacent--Ellington in the Park. The area provides sunset views over the Hudson River. All of these features are important contributors to the atmosphere of the area. I wouldn’t want anything removed, but would welcome additional workout/play equipment.

I miss meeting up with my friends at the traveling rings. Since this is a seasonal attraction, normally I would just be starting to return to the rings with the warmer spring weather. I look forward to gathering there with many old and new friends after the city opens back up.

(added April 2020)


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