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Wild wet fun at Brooklyn Bridge Park - Brooklyn Paper

Wild wet fun at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Kid-pleasing designs like this at Pier 6 helped Michael Van Valkenburgh win a big prize for his work on the park portion of the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront development.
Photo by Julie Rosenberg

It was “Kids gone wild” on Saturday, as the vast new playground at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 finally opened at the foot of Atlantic Avenue.

The mega-play area includes a giant sandbox, plenty of slides and a “valley” of swings — but the main attraction was a vast water world with spigots, fountains, and other spurting fun.

“It’s fabulously designed,” said Tom Feigeson, who came to Pier 6 on opening day with his four children — and luminaries like Mayor Bloomberg, Gov. Paterson and the irrepressible Borough President Markowitz.

“The quality of the park is like Disneyland when it first opened,” he added.

The target audience for the romper room — kids — can’t get enough of the place.

“I can’t wait until Mommy brings me back,” said one 3-year-old, still dripping from an hour in the splash zone.

The $55-million rugrat Nirvana on Pier 6 is not even done yet. Developers say they will add a dog run, three sand volleyball courts, a restaurant with roof access, and a plant marsh on the pier later this summer. There’s also a new dock that offers free ferry service each weekend to Governors Island.

The successful opening goes a long way towards easing decades of pain that proceded it. Brooklyn Bridge Park has been in the works for more than 20 years and has moved into overdrive only in the last year with the opening of the Pier 1 passive recreation area and the new kid zone further south.

The full $350-million-plus proposal — which is years away and still needs to be fully funded — calls for 1.3-mile strip of green stretching from the foot of Vinegar Hill to spitting distance from Cobble Hill.
Of course, some New Yorkers simply are still not satisfied. At Saturday’s opening, a small band of protesters complained that the Bloomberg administration’s takeover of the park construction earlier this year did nothing to change a financing scheme that underwrites the park’s maintenance budget through housing and other commercial activities inside its footprint.

Others felt the need to nitpick.

“I can’t wait for the rest of the park to open because it’s a little small right now,” said Barbara Rosenthal, who brought her twin 6-year-old daughters from Clinton Hill on Tuesday’s half-day from school. “I also can’t find a bathroom.”

Toilets will open by the end of the month, according to park officials, replacing porta-potties across the street.

Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park (Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street in Cobble Hill). Free. For info, visit www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org.

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