Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The New York Times and the Journal News both reported last week that county owned Playland Park in Rye will switch to an admission fee system next year for the amusement section. Budget shortfalls and amusement parks are not really my specialty, but what caught my eye was what the NY Times reported in the fifth paragraph of the story. The Times wrote: "The county will also open the park's shoreline from the Ice Casino to the Edith Read Sanctuary to the public for the first time and make it accessible year-round. Currently, only a third of the almost mile-and-a half stretch of beach is open to the public when the amusement park is operating between May and September." I visited Playland in October, and one of the first things I noticed was that a gate had been installed on the road that leads to the Edith Read Sanctuary. One could still walk past the gate, but the small lot that kayakers use was no longer accessible. It will be interesting to see just how "accessible" the shoreline becomes, but this certainly sounds like very good news. Another thing that caught my eye in the Times story was the comment made by Parks Commissioner Joseph A Stout. He stated: "This will create the longest stretch of public access beach on either side of the Long Island Sound" My first reaction was to wonder whether that is really true. It doesn't seem possible. Al Smith/Sunken Meadow Park in Suffolk County certainly has more beach. Even Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx has longer stretches of public access beach. Either the statement is false, or it is a carefully phrased comment that I am not fully grasping. I will have to look into this further.