Best Playground Apparatus - 2000
Hoyt Playground in Astoria
At the far side of Hoyt Playground in Astoria lies a large white reclining stone camel. Though a bit cracked and worn, it is as climbable as ever, its neck accustomed to the weight of toddlers scrambling for a ride. A similarly reclining black elephant lies nearby with equally puzzling purpose. Isolated from the rest of the playground equipment, it's unclear what these statues were originally intended forif not for climbing, then for thoughtful meditation? Staring the camel in its misshapen face can provide as much entertainment as watching the children compete for its middle hump. It's a pleasant break from the cow statues that populate the rest of the city's parks and playgrounds.