Ticketed for being childless and eating doughnuts in a playground

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129 Responses to “Ticketed for being childless and eating doughnuts in a playground”

  1. Kimmo says:

    After reading the Village Voice piece someone linked in an earlier post, I think it’s pretty safe to say that more than anything else, this story is about how pressure from the mayor for pleasing statistics has made the NYPD insane. It’s a heinous exemplar of institutional incompetence resembling outright malevolence, and that’s if you interpret it charitably.

    Now I’m thinking of all the references to NY’s surprisingly low crime rate I’ve come across over the last ten years…

    Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello:

    “If you don’t want to work, then, you know what, just do the old go-through-the-motions and get your numbers anyway.”
    “I told you guys last month: They are looking at these numbers, and people are going to get moved.”

    The cop who brought you those words was thrown in a mental ward for his trouble.

    TL;DR take-home for NYers: stay away from cops after the 25th of the month, plus it’ll prolly be worst at the end of each quarter.

  2. VibroCount says:

    Insane law.

    I am a father of three and a grandfather of five. My grandchildren live 400+ miles away. I coached my youngest daughter’s soccer team for eight years, and she and I coached an under-8 boys’ team the year befor she left for UCLA. My back yard borders on a park with more than a dozen youth soccer pitches, two softball fields, a playground, a public swimming pool and next door to it an elementary school where my daughter attended. It’s a reason we chose this house.

    Now that I am retired, I often hear the Saturday morning soccer matches and I grab a bottle of water and my folding chair and wander over to enjoy the games. Sometimes I like to watch the kids at the playgrounds. The joys of youth are refreshing.

    I guess what I do is illegal in some places. I guess I ought to sit on my couch and watch TV.

  3. josebrwn says:

    This is the kind of thing that makes a person hate cops. To this day I still seethe over the time a motorcycle cop on Hollywood Avenue in Los Angeles tried to cite me for jaywalking when the light changed as I was halfway across the street. He all but called me a liar and later I watched him do the exact same thing to someone else. Imagine spending all day ginning up false charges against law-abiding people just minding their own business. And cops wonder why everyone hates them.

  4. nixiebunny says:

    Good for Brooklyn! People shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy public parks. Let them do that, and then they’ll get all uppity and expect to be allowed to loiter on the sidewalk.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have a problem with “kid’s areas” as long as there are nearby places for those without them to have a seat. But that would be legally impossible, as the city would be sued for allowing a place where pedophiles could gather to watch children. Maybe they could screen them from view with bushes and face the bench the other way…oh, wait that would give camouflage to the flashers and secret photographers. Never mind. Better just to eliminate the park altogether. If parents would keep their kids inside, lecturing them on the dangers of child abduction like they should, pedophiles would have no targets. Right?

    As a 47-year-old father of a 2-year-old, I’m really glad that I don’t live in the US anymore. I live in an country where people do not see every stranger as a pedophile just waiting for his chance to pounce, and where old men make funny faces at kids in restaurants, shop clerk aren’t afraid to pick up a lost child to help them find Mom, and bystanders will grab a child’s hand if they bolt toward a stairway or road with no fear of ending up arrested and on a sex-offender list.

  6. kcmpls says:

    So, my friends and me playing bocce ball last week would have gotten us a court appearance? Aside from a park, where would we play bocce? And all the adults who play basketball and tennis in the park? Or is it just the playground part of the park? And how close can you get? Can I sit across the street with binoculars?

  7. traalfaz says:

    This is bullshit. If it’s a public park, how do they justify keeping someone who is paying taxes to keep it open from using it?

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s probably time the TSA setup Pat Down Checkpoint stations in every public park. Then we can be sure no terrorist or child molester enters a park where they might target THE CHILDREN.

  9. thelonmon says:

    unbelievable.

    i once had a librarian in s.f. tell me that i couldn’t look at the books in the children’s section of the library. when i ignored him, and continued looking through the books, he threatened to call the cops. i couldn’t believe it.

    at the time, i thought, and still do, that it was the librarian who was the perv. most likely – this cop too!

  10. ArtF says:

    Man, detectives Benson & Stabler are getting desperate for perps nowadays.

  11. von Bobo says:

    Is any of this helping the number of abuses occuring?

    In other news, the TSA is suggesting that people eating doughnuts in the airport terminal could potentially be terrorists!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Surely the officer, you know, put HIS contact details on the summons? ‘Cuz that sounds more like a creepy attempt at inviting them to a pickup basketball game than a law-enforcement matter.

  13. Antinous / Moderator says:

    If you feel that childless adults shouldn’t be allowed in public spaces, please don’t breed. We’re supposed to be evolving, not devolving, and you could contribute to that by not passing on your paranoia and poor reasoning skills to a new generation.

    • davegroff says:

      So, just so to be clear, no limited-use spaces in your utopia? Ever?

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        So, just so to be clear, no limited-use spaces in your utopia? Ever?

        Just to be clear, not turning childless people, which very frequently means gay people, into second-class citizens and suspected pedophiles is a big part of my utopia. A big motherfucking part of my utopia.

        And in what crack-headed theory of child-rearing is it suggested that the presence of adults in a public space is detrimental to children? They’re not giving each other lap dances; they’re sitting on a bench. There is absolutely no benefit derived from preventing adults from sitting on that bench. So why would anyone support a law that restricts something as basic as sitting on a bench when that law provides absolutely no benefit to anyone?

        • davegroff says:

          I’m very sorry if my comments sparked your anger. The Brooklyn park in question is poorly conceived, judging from the photo. I accept your point of view that this could make childless people feel like second class citizens.

          Can you see no merit in my point of view? In very large crowded cities like New York, children have very little space, and face measurable development challenges (eg., New York kids crawl and walk weeks/months later than other kids because of limited opportunity to move freely.) I support setting aside a small area of larger parks to children and caregivers, specifically in very large crowded cities like New York. If these spaces aren’t restricted, kids will simply be crowded out.

          As I pointed out earlier, I experienced the benefits of this policy: the kids’ area in Tompkins Square was remarkably free of broken glass and other hazards found in the rest of the park. You can let a 2 year old roam around and explore without anxiety.

          If you still find offense with my position, then I ask that we move away from the hot-button issue of children, and talk about the dog-run at Tompkins Square. You can’t go there without a dog. Similar principle.

          • Jack says:

            If you still find offense with my position, then I ask that we move away from the hot-button issue of children, and talk about the dog-run at Tompkins Square. You can’t go there without a dog. Similar principle.

            Not at all. If I don’t have a dog I can walk by a dog run and gawk and admire the dogs and even talk to the owners. If I sat down in playground nowadays to eat a hot dog, see a kid and say “What a cute kid!” that’s not accepted nowadays. Wider social interaction is discouraged and strangers are “othered” by parents routinely and without challenge.

            Also, dogs can’t be talked to or reasoned with. You can’t let them run free in a park and say “Look, don’t shit here or pee there.” Dog runs are setup to allow dogs a free space to run while allowing the rest of the park to be clean and shit/pee free.

            By your logic children should be put on leashes to control them the same way dogs are and only allowed to run free in designated playgrounds because they are too stupid to be reasoned with.

          • davegroff says:

            Yes, its a similar principle. I used toddlers in my example, who can’t be reasoned with, and are physically constrained to strollers until released in designated playground. You can gawk at the dogs in the dog run, but you still cannot enter without a dog. No stop cherry-picking and address the substance of my post if you want to have a discussion.

          • Jack says:

            I don’t want to have a discussion because I completely disagree with micro-management logic when it comes to raising a child. It’s asinine and it assumes that folks can’t take care of themselves.

        • noen says:

          Ant-tony said;
          “Just to be clear, not turning childless people, which very frequently means gay people, into second-class citizens and suspected pedophiles is a big part of my utopia.”

          Gays are second class citizens in New Yawk? You should visit us in Minneapolis. We’ve surpassed SanFran as the gay gay gay capital. And of course it should go without saying that it does not follow that restricting use of a playground to only children and their parents does not necessarily restrict gay couples.

          “There is absolutely no benefit derived from preventing adults from sitting on that bench.”

          This is why we can’t have nice things.

  14. MRKiscaden says:

    Congrats New York, you just got promoted from “Places I will never live” to “Places I will never visit”. NY can now stand with pride along side such illustrious places as Iran, Iraq, and Burma.

    • Tralala1980 says:

      A real loss to the people of this city, I’m sure.

      The “Eek, a pedophile!” attitude of many parents is reaching a ridiculous pitch. As many others have pointed out, statistically, a child is far more likely to be harmed by a family member than a stranger.

      Another bizarre example: at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, the second-floor bathroom is now locked, with a sign saying that it’s reserved for children with an accompanying adult. Now, if someone can figure this rule out and explain it to me, I’d be grateful, because on its face it’s one of the most absurd things I’ve seen in the past few months. Do the parents at Barnes and Noble seriously think that there are pedophiles waiting in the bathroom for their kids? And if so, why not simply make sure your child doesn’t go to the bathroom alone when at B&N? And given the fact that most children are molested by a family member, doesn’t locking the door to adults just make it *more* likely that an adult can molest a kid without the fear of getting caught or the kid calling for help?

      Common sense has left the building, it seems.

  15. gradv says:

    NYC also has senior only areas in the parks, prohibits pick up games of frisbee or softball except on the fields, doesn’t allow people to go wandering into dog runs unless they have a dog, go from sunbather to sunbather selling roses or sunglasses or such. Parks have a lot of rules, maybe you disagree with some of them, advocate for their change; don’t think that excuses breaking them.

    • Jack says:

      Do you realize if you legally ride your bike in the street, but then when you reach your destination you go up on the sidewalk and ride it a short bit before finding a place to lock it you can be ticketed?

      Do you also realize that the NYPD has been on a ticketing blitz in general since the economic downturn? It’s a profit center to them. Not an issue of rule breaking.

  16. delt664 says:

    If there was ever a more perfect opportunity for the use of civil disobedience to fight the unjust erosion of our guaranteed liberties, this is it.

    I see a flashmob eating donuts in this park in the near future. And a delicious future it will be.

    • davegroff says:

      Try that in the kiddie section of Tompkins Square Park and you’ll learn how territorial parents get in a city where there’s no space to raise kids. For that matter, go to the dog run with no dog.

  17. Anonymous says:

    They’re going to have to start putting up signs saying NO ADULTS WITHOUT CHILD SUPERVISION.

  18. RuthlessRuben says:

    Whenever I read something along these lines, the following conversation repeats itself in my head:

    “Won’t somebody think of the children!?”
    “Madam, I find it dubious in the extreme that you are constantly thinking about children.”

    I wonder why they’re still aiming these rather inaccurate and hazy laws at innocent bystanders when the “stranger with the candy” is, in sad sick reality, very often a friend or a relative. Why not aim there? Oh right, sacrosanct status of the family, which is actually a good thing usually.

    Conundrum…

    • Jack says:

      You know what’s amazing? People who defend these laws ignore what happened this week: NYC representative Anthony Wiener confessed to sending pics of his “wiener” to folks on Twitter and Facebook.

      So let me get this straight: Laws passed by asshats like Anthony Wiener need to be followed no matter what, while this guy sits in the comfort of his own home sexually harassing constituents for what reason?

      I think I know where the “creep” is and it ain’t eating a doughnut in a park.

      • kjulig says:

        His name is spelled “Weiner.” Personally, I don’t really understand why he uses the [i:] pronunciation himself when [ai] would be less comical and arguably much closer to the original German/Yiddish pronunciation…

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is stupid. I am a parent of two small children and have had many run ins with exercise classes taking place in childrens playgrounds but would never bat an eyelash at two donut eaters. There are all sorts of rules about use of playounds – what you can do and when and so on but this is simply counter productive!

  20. Mister44 says:

    We have been so successful of teaching ‘stranger danger’ that we assume everyone out there is ready to snatch our kids or rape them on the monkey bars.

    The world is not that dangerous. We are enjoying some of the lowest crime numbers ever.

    Because of our information network, any time a kid is abducted we hear about it. We are bombarded with warnings of pedophiles behind every corner. I guess the ‘correct’ thing to do is have a lost child find a mommy to help them

    I am the only father at this home school co-op we go to once a week. Their policy says I can’t take the young boys to the bathroom (don’t even think of helping the little girls!) How fucked up is that?.

    The fact is – abduction/pedophilia from strangers is really rare. Your kid is more likely to be taken or abused by an ex-husband/boyfriend, your live-in boyfriend, your uncle Jimmy, or a Camp Wantahockaloogy counselor.

    Do bad things happen? Yes. But you are more likely to have a bad wreck on the way to the park than having your kid leered at.

    I recall my wife and daughter were chatting with an old couple at a hotel once. I can’t recall what the old man did, but it was something that 30 years ago would have been considered completely innocent. My wife ended up finding them later and to point out that what he did was considered taboo nowadays. He was shocked – never thinking something he does all the time with his grandkids could have such a sinister meaning to some people.

    I’m rambling some – sorry. I am just frustrated with the ‘scare of your shadow’ attitudes today and peoples unwillingness to use their heads and defend themselves from real and likely dangers, rather than worry about the 1 in a Million death/injury that ends up on the news.

  21. travtastic says:

    Are pedobears allowed in?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t agree with the policy, but this wasn’t a park, it was a playground.

  23. Shotaro says:

    Grabbing a kid from a park in broad daylight just doesn’t seem like the sort of thing a molester could pull off. I mean, random grabbing in general is just going to make it an event that the police are going to look into and possibly gather evidence from, even if it was done on, say, a forest trail where it would be harder to determine where the abduction occurred, exactly. If I cracked and started acting on my urges, I’m sure I’d find a safer way to get hold of a kid. Probably a kid I already knew, which is why I avoid getting to know kids. With social networking, it’d be easy to find a single parent and… I’m not going to finish that thought, I don’t want a plan. Although, now that I think about it, innocent people getting tickets for eating donuts would make good cover traffic for paedophiles. There’s a frightening thought, “Yeah, everybody gets tickets like these, fascist cops, you know”.

    I’m suddenly reminded of that Onion piece, where an ex-paedophile gives advice on how to make your kids less appealing.

  24. GorillaBot says:

    >Did you actually read what I wrote?

    Yeah. Kind of soppy, rose-colored-glasses stuff, little on the melodrama side. And then you called this $20 ticket “draconian.” I remember now. What of it?

    >There was once a time in NYC when parks and playgrounds were simply egalitarian.

    Uh huh. Camelot. You seem like a person who enjoys a lot of theater.

    > These rules you are so intent on defending are not meant to be abused by the NYPD this way.

    Sure. “Abused” is kind of a melodramatic stretch, but it was kind of a jerk move on the cop’s part. But it doesn’t mean the donut-eating tourists weren’t breaking the rules by hanging out there.

    >Who are you to say

    It’s actually a city ordinance that says that. I’m just pointing out plentiful and reasonable alternatives for determined donut eaters.

    > there is a park nicknamed “Prostitution Park” nearby

    Wait, you mean that crimes other than park rules infractions happen in Brooklyn?

    Stop Everything! Withdraw all park officers! Cancel every parking ticket! This is Draconian! I am Outraged!

    So, do you ever get worked up about serious issues, or just donut-related perceived injustices?

    • Jack says:

      Yeah. Kind of soppy, rose-colored-glasses stuff, little on the melodrama side. And then you called this $20 ticket “draconian.” I remember now. What of it?

      First, my memories are not as rose colored as you think. I lost more than a few friends to drugs and knew others who were pregnant at age 12. But your blind defense of “rules” is past belief. But that said tons of folks made it out of my neighborhood in good shape because we learned how to take care of themselves.

      Sorry but the vast majority of “quality of life” rules in NYC are based on paranoia, nonsense and an excuse to to issue tickets and summons.

      Sure. “Abused” is kind of a melodramatic stretch, but it was kind of a jerk move on the cop’s part. But it doesn’t mean the donut-eating tourists weren’t breaking the rules by hanging out there.

      Technically speaking, jaywalking is breaking “the rules” but nobody gets ticketed for that.

      Also, $20 or $200 why should anyone have to pay for that nonsense? We pay enough taxes. Why pay a pseudo-tax on enjoying the streets we live on?

      Where did these “rules” come from and why are you so blindly defending them?

      • GorillaBot says:

        >Technically speaking, jaywalking is breaking “the rules” but nobody gets ticketed for that.

        This is going to blow your mind, but I think doing a better job of enforcing some of those jaywalking rules would might be a net benefit. Parking too. And Frankly, if the cops would start towing those clowns that double-park in my bike lane, it’d make my commute a lot safer and smoother.

        Sure, it’s not as high priority to me as, say, general emergency response. But if you stop enforcement altogether, things go downhill.

        Today a donut eater camps out in the playground; tomorrow the Baseball Furies stake it out as their turf.

        >Where did these “rules” come from and why are you so blindly defending them?

        The parks and rec. department must seem like a sacred, impenetrable mystery to you.

        • Jack says:

          I like the way you completely ignore the fact there is a park right near the one you claim to know that is known as “PROSTITUTION PARK” and the cops seem to do little here.

          Today a donut eater camps out in the playground; tomorrow the Baseball Furies stake it out as their turf.

          Troll.

        • Jack says:

          The parks and rec. department must seem like a sacred, impenetrable mystery to you.

          PS: And where do you think the rules that the Parks Department sets comes from? Heaven itself?

  25. yanocommenter says:

    I noticed the same evil policy at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. So, so evil. Playground itself is amazing and seems to live in a litigation-free zone — I can’t imagine some of the stuff there getting built today in most places in the U.S.

  26. Anonymous says:

    My big issue is that childless people have to pay taxes, just like their parenting counterparts, to maintain the very park in which they’re not allowed.

  27. GorillaBot says:

    In fairness, the Lafayette Gardens Playground really is just a playground. It’s not a gardens and benches kind of place. It’s a small fenced in concrete lot with swings, slide, climbers and two benches. It’s not a general use park like nearby Underwood park, just a couple blocks away.

    There are signs are posted at the gate saying that they playground is only for children and their guardians.

    It’s tiny, it’s in a middlin’ neighborhood with an active drug trade, and if you were bringing your kids there, and there were some child-free grownups just hanging out on the benches by the slide, you’d be a little creeped out.

    • dragonfrog says:

      It’s a small fenced in concrete lot with swings, slide, climbers and two benches. (…) It’s tiny”

      And seven minutes later you post a picture of a playground much larger than either of the ones near my house, surrounded by, at my count, eleven benches.

      “and if you were bringing your kids there, and there were some child-free grownups just hanging out on the benches by the slide, you’d be a little creeped out.”

      How bout you don’t tell me how I would feel at the prospect of meeting a neighbour while my child plays on a swing? K thanks.

    • Jack says:

      I’m the guy who suggested the article to BoingBoing and happy it was posted and must say your assessment of “to be fair” is utterly ridiculous.

      I grew up in NYC in the 1970s and still live here now. My memories of going to playgrounds in this city is so much more open and fun you might not understand it. I grew up in a “middling” working-class neighborhood with a strong Jewish population but mixed with other ethnicities and races as well. Whenever I went to the playground, the benches would be filled with old folks playing cards or checkers or reading the newspaper. Kids would run around freely. Since it was a neighborhood, older kids took care of younger kids. And when I mean “took care” I meant if something came up where a kid needed help, we looked out for each other. Teens and others would hang out as well. But guess what? They hung out in their own corner of the park and didn’t bother anyone. And if someone did do something “weird” or creepy, folks would jump on it right away. Heck, there was an acid casualty/burnout on my block named “Bill.” White guy with a Jewfro and a lot of denim. He would just hang out near where the kids played and never hurt anyone. But get this, as damaged as he was he would be the first one to shout out or confront anyone causing problems with neighborhood kids. Heck, my mom would give him cheese sandwiches out of sympathy and knowing he cared about the kids on the block.

      Sociology and society is an ecosystem of behavior not a draconian set of rules. Let people be themselves and nothing wrong will happen anywhere for any reason.

      Also the subtext that Cory brings up that I will bring up myself is the very well documented fact: The vast majority of abuse and harm that is done to children comes from within the family an not from magical “strangers.” Everyone knows someone in a family who does stuff but most folks don’t say crap because they want to “keep the family together” by somehow protecting an abuser.

      Two folks eating pastries in a park are not a threat to anyone. And if ANYTHING you GorillaBot ignore the major fact in the Gothamist piece: “And for the record, this was at the Lafayette Gardens Playground, on Lafayette and Franklin Avenues, which is not to be confused with the Crispus Attucks Playground, a.k.a. “Prostitution Park,” a few blocks away.”

      So a REAL problem park with REAL crime and REAL issues is nearby and it’s so infested with crap it’s called “Prostitution Park” but what do the cops do? They target two people eating pastries in a plain old park with very little relative issues.

      This is all bullshit. The article even states it. The NYPD officers issuing summons were filling quotas. This is the new NYC (thanks Bloomberg!) where laws are enforced to keep the books balanced. And why should cops issue summons to crackheads in another park? I mean, will they pay? The cit has to make money, folks!

      • GorillaBot says:

        >“to be fair” is utterly ridiculous

        What’s “utterly” ridiculous about my post?

        It’s a playground, not a park. With posted rules about being only for kids (and accompanying parents.) That’s pretty much all I said.

        And as far as middling… it is. This playground is part of a public housing project in a part of town that has some broad-daylight drug traffic. It’s not the worst corner in Brooklyn, and it’s not the best either. I live within walking distance, and get by just fine. And I’m generally happy that the playground is used by actual kids. There are great parks in this part of town for the rest of us. A nice one only two blocks away, with trees, a garden, benches, the whole works.

        >a draconian set of rules

        I’m not sure that a posted “Playgrounds are for kids” sign, and $20 fine for infractions, qualifies a draconian rule.

        Now, some of the posts below this where the police imprison doctors in Bahrain for bandaging protester’s gunshot wounds… those are draconian rules.

        Ticketing loitering hipsters for a parks rules violation… that’s probably more of a “drag.”

        • Jack says:

          There are great parks in this part of town for the rest of us. A nice one only two blocks away, with trees, a garden, benches, the whole works.

          Did you actually read what I wrote? There was once a time in NYC when parks and playgrounds were simply egalitarian. Adults and kids could share and there would be no issue. These rules you are so intent on defending are not meant to be abused by the NYPD this way. Nobody was hurting anyone, and the spirit of the law is basically “If an adult is in that park and getting in the way of children using it, then you can act…”

          Also, I really don’t like the tone of “There are great parks in this part of town for the rest of us.” Baloney. This is not a quality issue. If one is a taxpayer sitting in a park paid for with taxpayer dollars one should not be harassed for simply sitting and eating a doughnut. Who are you to say “You know what, you can’t sit in a park on the edge of the projects… You need to go to the “better” park nearby.” What B.S.

          And on top of that all you completely ignore the fact there is a park nicknamed “Prostitution Park” nearby the cops seemed to be fine with.

          This is not an issue of rules and restrictions as much as cops abusing their authority to make a quota with an easy summons issued to hipsters instead of tackling real problems right next door.

      • wylkyn says:

        “Let people be themselves and nothing wrong will happen anywhere for any reason.”

        Wow…what planet do you live on? Drive on the freeway here in California if you want a good example of people “being themselves”, or just go into an unmoderated internet forum. Maybe BoingBoing should do away with the rules for commenters…I mean, why are they necessary? If people are just allowed to be themselves, nothing will go wrong at all, right?

        And I find it strange that you think the law is because childless adults are a “threat” to children. Those benches are for adults whose children are playing on the equipment. When my daughter was younger, I would often go to public playgrounds with her, and benches were a good place to sit when she wanted to play by herself or with friends. There are plenty of places in the city for childless adults to sit and eat doughnuts. How about a little courtesy for your neighbors? Or does courtesy get thrown out the window so that people can just “be themselves”?

        • Jack says:

          Driving a car on a freeway is not analogous to eating a doughnut on a public bench. Driving a car on a freeway runs the risk of killing others. Eating a doughnut on a public bench harms nobody.

  28. Anonymous says:

    They should have stolen a kid so they could have stayed in the park.

  29. Anonymous says:

    How sad. Maybe they were walking by and just wanted a place to sit and eat a damn donut. Not like they had candy and were luring small children. That said, I would have chosen a different place to sit, but it’s a public park, and from the picture someone posted, it doesn’t look that small.

    • Cory Doctorow says:

      Shit, I just looked at that photo without a child present. Does that make me a latent pedophile?

      • GorillaBot says:

        I don’t think so; you were pretty clearly outside of the fence.
        Just don’t zoom in on the swings.

        (But you might not want to save it on your hard drive, just to be on the safe side.)

        On the not-being-sarcastic side, would it be nice if this playground and the large public housing project behind it was a safe place to raise kids?

        Ticket-happy cops aren’t the way to get there, but I’m fairly certain the “This playground is actually for children” rule gives police a means to keep some of the broad-daylight drug dealing off of this particular corner.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, if the two women had sat on the benches near the racket ball court 10 feet away, would they then still have been in trouble?

  30. Crowing says:

    The comments section of the linked article is disgusting.

    I think I have lost the last shred of respect I ever had for humanity. That crap is worse than YouTube.

    • CaptObvious says:

      Really? I scanned the comments and they seem about as split and rational as the comments here. And certainly not youtube level idiocy… what offended your sensibilities?

      • davegroff says:

        Here’s one:
        “The whiny little transplant should get a summons just for saying moronic things like “an amazing doughnut shop in Bed-Stuy” in what is no doubt an irritating chipmunk voice. Ugh,,,, shut UP.”
        Its anti-chipmunk

  31. Anonymous says:

    What about all the adults who want to swing or go on the teeter totters? Who says play equipment is only for kids?

  32. littledan says:

    Can we please not have this thread hijacked by the Weiner story?

    Anyway, I can easily see myself in the same situation. As I understand, the rules are posted at the entrance. But it would not even *occur* to me that I would not be allowed to walk on to a playground, sit on the bench, and eat a donut. I probably would not even read the sign, since what I would be doing seems to me to be so clearly not a violation of any conceivable rule. However, given that this law exists, it seem to me that the cop should have just informed these two women of the law, ask them to move along, and that would be the end of it. Yes, I know, ignorance of the law is no excuse. But these women were not engaged in any activity that the law is intending to prevent. So to give them a summons seems like a waste of everyone’s time. Lack of discretion on the cop’s part is the real problem here, IMHO.

    • chgoliz says:

      However, given that this law exists, it seem to me that the cop should have just informed these two women of the law, ask them to move along, and that would be the end of it.

      Yup. That’s the crux for me, too. If the point was to maintain the law, allowing them to move on would have sufficed. But the point was to earn more money for the city coffers.

  33. Gulliver says:

    It’s times like this that even ever hopeful I think that maybe, just maybe, we really are doomed.

    To all the paranoics treating every person like a psychopath waiting to snatch you kids: you should really keep your kids away from friends and other family members. Statistically they’re a much higher threat. In fact, better keep them home from school since peer pressure is a major contributor to child delinquency. And that pediatrician who just got busted for molesting like a hundred of his patients, obviously you can’t trust doctors so medical care is out. In fact, statistically you just never know, some parents do some whack shit to their own children. Can you really trust yourself? Better just not reproduce at all. Then we’ll all be better off, especially our children who won’t have to grow up in a society populated by fear-mongering morons with zero common sense.

  34. BlackPanda says:

    A few years back, my ex- was denied entry to an afternoon showing of “Finding Nemo” at a cinema in Southampton, UK, DESPITE BEING HEAVILY PREGNANT, on the grounds that she was “not accompanied by a child.”

    The reasoning being, as they happily pointed out to her, that the only people who would go to watch a Disney cartoon alone in the afternoon are obviously paedos.

    Of course. :|

  35. Kimmo says:

    In fact, after reading all the comments, I’ll add that deciding to ticket them purely to fill a quota is far more akin to something you could call corruption.

  36. Jackasimov says:

    C’mon, it’s a park for kids, not for adults to eat their lunch just because they happen to need a place at the moment to sit their asses. It’s just one of those things, kind of like the texting in the theater rule from the Alamo piece. No one is asking you to like it or agree with it it’s just a rule. A posted rule. Dogs get a dog park, (free from cats). Why can’t kids have a place to play without anyone having to worry about what the old guy in the corner is doing (from my experience he’s talking photos. happened not too long ago in Chicago and the dude got busted for it. A whole camera full of pictures of little kids. Oh well you say, that’s the price of freedom?). There are plenty of public parks in around, it’s sad for you if just don’t happen to be walking next to one at doughnut eating time.

    Yes, I’m a parent, and a little bit paranoid, but I’ve also got plenty of reasons to be. Shit happens and it happens a lot. It’s happened to kids (and adults) I’ve known and it ruined their lives.

    I guess the issue for me is just this: lots of parents like to let their kids run around the playground while they hang out and talk to friends/nannies or whatever. And at some crowded parks it’s really hard to find your kid among the potentially hundred-ish other same-sized kids on the playground. I don’t think it’s too ridiculous to think that some people might enjoy knowing that their kids are in relatively safe environment without having to worry about the people that just like to sit in the kids park and watch children play.

    I have a feeling that some of the people complaining about the violation of their something-something amendment right to sit on a playground are also the people who think they have a right to be on a plane without hearing a crying kid. In other words, a bit selfish in my opinion. Not everyone gets exactly what they want. You want a doughnut eating park? Get some signatures, call your alderman, see what you can do, but playgrounds are for little kids to play. And in the city, those spaces are hard to come by. Or did you just want to go down the baby slide?

    Oh, and you people who go and sit in the Dog Park when there are plenty of non-dog park locations around to sit, you’re fucking weird.

  37. Tonky says:

    I hate it when cops abuse authority, but this is not the case here. Cops do their job by enforcing the law. Maybe they could have reminded the donut ladies of the LAW and kicked them off the playground.

    Socrates wouldn’t have sat in the playground without a child.

  38. Paul Turnbull says:

    What’s going to happen when the powers that be realize that the vast majority of child abuse, kidnapping, and assaults are perpetrated by someone the child knows or their parents?

  39. The Mudshark says:

    They should have thrown the doughnuts an run in the opposite direction.

  40. noen says:

    “They were just “doing their jobs,” in the most mindless sense of that phrase.”

    Bureaucracy is the price we pay for civilization. If laws are to be applied equally for all then those who dispense the law must be bureaucrats. The alternative is to dispense the law preferentially which is inherently unequal and unfair.

    Third world countries and “small town justice” are corrupt because they handle the law according to preference. “You don’t have form b stroke 103 filled out properly but because I know your family/business/clan/tribe we’ll let that pass.” That’s what corruption *is*.

    The policeman should be congratulated for upholding our modern civilized way of life and not giving in to the corrupting temptation of dispensing privileges to people he knows.

    • Kimmo says:

      “They were just “doing their jobs,” in the most mindless sense of that phrase.”

      Bureaucracy is the price we pay for civilization. If laws are to be applied equally for all then those who dispense the law must be bureaucrats. The alternative is to dispense the law preferentially which is inherently unequal and unfair.

      Third world countries and “small town justice” are corrupt because they handle the law according to preference. “You don’t have form b stroke 103 filled out properly but because I know your family/business/clan/tribe we’ll let that pass.” That’s what corruption *is*.

      The policeman should be congratulated for upholding our modern civilized way of life and not giving in to the corrupting temptation of dispensing privileges to people he knows.

      That cop was doing nothing to uphold civilisation. Civilisation isn’t an automatic result of mindless drones following poorly-made rules to the letter; it’s the product of thinking humans interacting considerately.

      The cop was being a mindless tool of oppression. If he was interested in being civilised, he’d simply have exercised his discretion and advised the women of the law and given them a warning, given they were quite obviously not the kind of people the law was targeted at.

      That’s hardly corruption. Genuine corruption is a whole other ballgame, involving you know, quid pro quo and stuff.

  41. Jackasimov says:

    I should also say, that when I was in Paris they had the same rule at a playground we passed by. My wife and I snuck in anyway to use the restrooms because we couldn’t find one anywhere near by. If we’d been summonsed it would have been our own damn fault really. Not to say I wouldn’t try to get out of the ticket but I couldn’t have really complained, the rules were posted.

    And oh yes, we got severe looks from the parents but I don’t blame them for it.

  42. das memsen says:

    To those of us who realize how stupid New York City is becoming, can we ignore the rest of the buffoons here and get on with doing something about it? How about 100 of us go to a park, sans kids, and just sit there eating donuts? Or bagels, or whatever. I’d rather get the city’s attention instead of that of a bunch of trolls in cyberspace. Yes? Maybe someone at boingboing could post an announcement on the where and when? 2 Saturdays from now, or something..?

  43. wookiedingleberry says:

    The latest position on child safety I’m aware of tells children to turn to strangers for help if they are in danger, drawing on the reasonable idea that most people are eager to help others and not ‘just waiting for a chance to do harm’.

    I agree with this perspective, and consequently I think the law discussed in this article is wrong. This is a lazy approach to law enforcement and this laziness reminds me of the “bear in area”, “cougar in area”, and “wet floor” signs that never come down.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Just FYI, since you seem to think you know about the trifling fines for such nefarious behavior. From the NYC Parks Dept. website:

    Any violation of these Rules other than Rule 1-04 (b)(1)(i) shall constitute a misdemeanor triable by the Criminal Court of the City of New York and punishable by not more than ninety days imprisonment or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both, in accordance with § 533(a)(9) of Chapter 21 of the New York City Charter.

    Assumptions are fun, but I prefer information.

  45. erg79 says:

    Since race has been brought up, something that I’ve wondered about with stories like this…

    The outrage from people who have been on the wrong side of obviously ridiculous police actions and facing fines or receiving citations for really minor things…I’ve noticed that in this case, and others, the people being cited have often been white. I have to wonder if the outrage stems in part from the assumption that “people like me don’t get harassed by the police.”

    • Gulliver says:

      The outrage from people who have been on the wrong side of obviously ridiculous police actions and facing fines or receiving citations for really minor things…I’ve noticed that in this case, and others, the people being cited have often been white. I have to wonder if the outrage stems in part from the assumption that “people like me don’t get harassed by the police.”

      I can only speak for myself. Obviously there are enough remiss cops in the United States to make for a media phenomenon. But I personally think most cops are decent professionals just trying to get through their day alive and intact without having their governor lay half of them off. My problem with (and occasional outrage at) crap like this or the Jefferson Memorial dancing flash-mob fiasco isn’t with the cops. My problem is with a society so many of whose members are so eager trade liberty and civility for the illusion of security bought with trillions of tax dollars spent on protecting them from their own shadows so they can hunker down in their gated communities and watch their media whoring politicians butcher their own history while uncle Pedo takes their kids to the park.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t that ageism and possibly against ADA? I’m 26 years old, I like swinging. Why can’t I swing at a playground? Why do I have to have a 3 year old with me to use a set of swings?

    Also, what about people who are ‘simple-minded’, and do not have the capability to enjoy things that are beyond the playground? Why can’t someone who is mentally retarded at 45 be able to use a set of swings in NYC?

  47. windrider says:

    I am very sympathetic to the situation that these two women find themselves in but this:

    have to show up in court or a warrant will be issued for our arrest.

    just seems like gratuitous dramatization of a normal legal proceeding.

    > BS, that isn’t gratuitous at all. Do you know how much of a pain in the ass it is to have to go to court? how much time it takes? getting off of work for it? and the woman has to travel, to boot, which makes it terrible.

  48. Anonymous says:

    OK… two comments.

    1. On the incident itself, as others have noted these laws are probably to keep an unsavory element out of the playground, and are being misapplied here. Here in Chicago we have a law against anyone over the age of sixteen being on playground equipment. It is pretty much only enforced to keep gang members from loitering on the property. My guess is that pedophiles aren’t even the real target here, its probably to keep drug dealers out.

    2. On the comments about being a male with a young child, I haven’t seen the pedophile look (albeit I have a son, and a very young one, not a daughter- which in practice means nothing but is probably big in perception) but do get some other varieties of weird looks. I work midnights, so am with my son at “wiggle worms” (music class for toddlers), the park, an occasional swim class, and the library, all during the day. I am often the lone male adult. In one music class another kid wandered up to me and one of the moms (many are stay at home moms in this class- not stated as a judgment- but rather to put this in context in terms of how a male with free time during the day fits in SOME of the mom’s world view) said to her child and the room generally “Yes Justin, that’s a daddy!” My wife and I have worked it out so that I work from 10 pm till 6am, and then watch our child while she works 9-5. This is not a concept that seems to be on the radar of the soccer moms, who seem generally to assume that I must be unemployed.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      these laws are probably to keep an unsavory element out of the playground, and are being misapplied here.

      These laws are very similar to vagrancy laws, which have been traditionally used to harass people who belong to different racial/economic/religious/etc. groups than the people who make the laws. Even complaints about drug dealers and prostitutes have a strong racial subtext since ‘unsavoriness’ is commonly a value judgment based solely on appearance. I’m sure that there really are drug dealers and gang members, but I’m also sure that there are a lot of soccer moms who find young, non-white people frightening.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Time to start a rent a kid business on the internet — being a parent seems to be becoming a pre-requisite so we should start renting orphans and foster children to pre-cleared adults — the way most pet-rescues allow members of the public to take the rescues for a walk.

    That will solve the problem and yes I am related to Jonathan Swift. :)

  50. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure which is more insane: the rule or the enforcement policy. It seems clear that neither is in the public interest.

  51. Anonymous says:

    If they had just stood four feet away on the other side of the 3-foot iron fence, the children would have been safe. Donut-eating monsters!

  52. Anonymous says:

    Remember, they hate us because we are free.

  53. hinten says:

    I am very sympathetic to the situation that these two women find themselves in but this:

    have to show up in court or a warrant will be issued for our arrest.

    just seems like gratuitous dramatization of a normal legal proceeding.

  54. rektruax says:

    I’ve been the the doughnut shop. Thought they were over done and too sweet.

    I know the park she’s talking about too. The sign is clearly visible. Having to go to court is a bit much though.

  55. Elfir says:

    I sent this to Lenore of Free Range Kids. I am DETERMINED to see a donut-wielding flash mob happen at this park and this is practically in her back yard.

  56. Anonymous says:

    “If I don’t write you a ticket I get in trouble for doing nothing all day” – admission that the cops are filling quotas, which is in itself illegal

  57. Thorzdad says:

    Back when my daughter was little, she and I would go to the local market in the middle of the day. So, there I was…middle-aged man with a five or six-year-old girl. The suspicious stares I would get from the women shoppers hit me like daggers. I mean, these were some fucking evil stares. “I am about to call an Amber Alert” stares. Scared me to hell.

    This country has some very serious issues when it comes to children.

    • erg79 says:

      I know where you’re coming from. I was a stay-at-home dad for a period when my daughter was very young. Being the only adult male in Gymboree classes, seeing that every activity for a parent and a child was labeled “Mommy and Me,” and yes, getting a lot of very hostile stares from women when I would be at the park or walking in the neighborhood with my daughter.

      @yanocommenter – I assume that you’re talking about the concrete slide? Those are awesome. The equipment there is apparently all from 2007. The earlier equipment (not sure if you’re talking about the new stuff, or the old) looked even more exciting/dangerous:
      http://retrocrush.com/archive2006/sfoplayground/

      • Mister44 says:

        That is really odd you got those reactions. Well – maybe not odd – just I haven’t gotten them. I stay at home with our young one and I take her to everything (dance, soccer, gymnastics, the store, etc). I don’t recall any un-approving stares – and I can look fairly grizzly in the morning. Maybe I am just oblivious. Usually I get told how cute/smart she is and then I can brag on her a bit.

        I did point out the policy above that I butted heads with, but the people in the group constantly tell me how great it is to have the father involved.

        • erg79 says:

          That’s good. Maybe it just depends on the area. That bathroom rule is strange…I made this argument on here before in a previous post about the dress-up set for little girls that was underwear and a bra, but when people freak out about stuff involving kids and anything vaguely related to private parts, that only helps to create a sexualized atmosphere. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  58. Jenonymous says:

    Okay, tardy to the party but a bunch of things here:

    1) I have mixed feelings RE the whole “no adults w/o children” thing in the fenced-off parts of playgrounds. Yes, it’s sometimes a pain in the ass not to be able to sit down on what may be the only free bench in the park. However, until the rule was implemented, many NYC playgrounds/swing areas were infested with homeless, junkies, gang members, loud annyoing packs of same, etc which made it a no-go area for the kids.

    2) Given that this particular playground is near a housing project, I can see why they had the sign up.

    3) For everyone saying “eeew, NYC is nuts, I’ll NEVER go there.” Fine, please stay home, we have enough assholes here as it is.

    4) Yes, the cop was being a dick here.

    5) Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to go to court in NYC, especially if you live in the outer boros.

    6) To those who say it’s ageism–no it’s not; most of the “no adults without kids” play areas are embedded in larger parks where anyone can sit anywhere. Nobody is being delegated to “lesser status” by not having a kid here; the law has a real function which it actually accomplishes.

    7) As per point #1, this isn’t a UK-style “oh noez teh pedz” panic law; it’s a method of keeping an area meant for children used by children.

    8) There are plenty of play areas and parks in NYC that DON’T have the “no adults without kids” restrictions.

    You’re welcome.

  59. davegroff says:

    OK one last try: in NYC parks, what really young kids need protection from is the guy learning how to ride his unicycle, head trauma from that basketball, eating glass, etc. Everyday hazards resulting from everyday stuff people do in parks. Hence, protected spaces for young children.
    Cory, its kind of too bad that you framed this post in terms of ‘fear of the pedophile snatcher’. I know its a provocative target, but we might have had a more constructive conversation about the actual pros and cons of the policy in terms of its actual purpose, its (mis)application in the specific Brooklyn playground, and the way NYC police are (mis)managed. Instead, lots of shouting, and everyone comes away with their point of view intact.

  60. Percy Nash says:

    Every playground in NYC has this rule posted. The playgrounds are fenced in areas, inside parks. You could have got this ticket twenty years ago. This is not a sign of the times in reference to “the man”, it is more endemic of people moving in from other areas and not bothering to learn the local customs and laws. No grown adult I know would be in a NYC park’s playground with out a kid. Its just not done, cops or no cops, donuts or no donuts.

  61. calibri says:

    Cool, childless people already pay the highest taxes, now we can’t quietly enjoy a park. I love being punished by not irresponsibly having children.

  62. Hools Verne says:

    I think that you’re right in reminding everybody that the person that is most likely to abuse a child is somebody the child already knows and trusts rather than a random adult who just happens to cross their path. The one thing I’m wondering though is this: most of the public parks I’ve been to in New York have specific fenced in playgrounds for parents to bring their kids. That’s mainly in Manhattan though, and I don’t know if the same is true for Brooklyn. I’m wondering if this happened in one of the fenced off areas. I think the policy could use more nuance and less overt paranoia, but they tend to put up very big signs around these playgrounds. If it happened in the larger public park then that is definitely a breech, if it happened inside one of these gated playgrounds that changes things a bit.

  63. Dewi Morgan says:

    Saddest part: this wouldn’t be news, or in BB, if they were old *men*.

  64. dcm1101 says:

    No, no, those women don’t understand: the rules are not there to protect the children from them, the rules are to protect them from the children. Parents, of course, attend the secret meetings where we learn defensive techniques, how to soothe the pack, and, frankly, when to run. Without that training, those women could’ve been torn to pieces. They don’t know how lucky they were, really.

  65. davegroff says:

    Regarding child safety, the random abduction issue is sounding like a straw man. In a typical city park, broken glass, needles, and public urination are more common concerns to parents. In my time in NYC, these hazards were pretty common in parks, but I found the dedicated kids’ areas to be surprisingly clean and safe. In a big crowed city, it seems pretty self-evident that limiting a small area to children and caregivers makes for a safer environment.

    I also have to say I’m pretty ambivalent to the civil liberties argument that adults with no children should have equal access to NYC playgrounds. In other cities, there’s more space and the dynamic is different, but in NYC the amount of space dedicated to children is really quite minimal. I don’t think it violates your rights to let them have their playground.

  66. Mister44 says:

    I think the original intent of the law/rules was to keep people from loitering, sleeping on the benches, doing drugs, smoking, drinking, making out, etc.

  67. jacques45 says:

    I’m guessing this is the 81st precinct where this ticket was written. I had heard a segment on This American Life about the massive corruption and quota system that went all the way to the top, and then found an article that amazingly made them look even worse.

    http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/1797847/

  68. Ronald Pottol says:

    First off, remember, this is NYC. The cop will write your rape report up as a lesser offense (so as to reduce the number of serious crimes), and will pop you for the most trivial of shit to so that he looks busy. Really, search, there have been a number of stories about this, including cops who have recorded their daily briefings going over this.

    And of course the world is full of pedophile strangers meme. Madness.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure this is necessarily about pedophilia at all, children’s parks are for children not for transients to camp out in or for young adult to hang around in either. I suspect the rules were made with the high population locally in mind and to preserve open space for children where they can PLAY.

    Sorry if you are offended because you are childless, but if you believe in high density living to minimize use of natural resources for commutes then you also have to support kids living there, and if you support kids living there then there should be means for them to get the exercise and play that children need. Therefore, the law is logical and fair for the population and even the childless and self centered few who don’t seem to see beyond their own needs.

  70. Felton / Moderator says:

    Did they confiscate the doughnuts?

    • grimc says:

      I’m surprised nobody has noted that if you’re being hassled by a cop and you’re holding doughnuts, the solution should be self-evident.

  71. Michael Smith says:

    Once in Singapore I forgot the clear signs which tell you not to eat on public transport. I bought a doughnut and started to eat it on a train platform. Two police officers with big guns and very poor English went out of their way to remind me of the rule. I thanked them and put the food away. Nobody got “ticketed”.

  72. Brainspore says:

    I have two toddlers. As far as most of us parents are concerned that fence around the playground isn’t to keep kidnappers and child molesters out, it’s to create a reasonably safe play area where the kids can’t run into the path of a bicyclist or a group of teenagers playing football.

    I support the idea of a “children and caregivers only” area as long as it’s used as a general guideline with common-sense enforcement. A couple of women eating donuts don’t bother me but a skateboarder weaving through a group of two-year-olds sure does.

    • Gulliver says:

      I support the idea of a “children and caregivers only” area as long as it’s used as a general guideline with common-sense enforcement. A couple of women eating donuts don’t bother me but a skateboarder weaving through a group of two-year-olds sure does.

      Thank you. A little common sense would go a long way. If we won’t trust our police to exercise some, then we may as well hire Ed:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrXfh4hENKs

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I have two toddlers. As far as most of us parents are concerned that fence around the playground isn’t to keep kidnappers and child molesters out, it’s to create a reasonably safe play area where the kids can’t run into the path of a bicyclist or a group of teenagers playing football. I support the idea of a “children and caregivers only” area as long as it’s used as a general guideline with common-sense enforcement. A couple of women eating donuts don’t bother me but a skateboarder weaving through a group of two-year-olds sure does.

      So put up a sign that says: No Skateboarding, No Rollerblading, No Glass Bottles, whatever. But don’t put up a sign that says:

      NO NON-BREEDERS ALLOWED

      Because that’s what these laws are saying. What part of “limit the activity, not the demographic” is so incredibly difficult to understand?

      • Brainspore says:

        …don’t put up a sign that says:
        NO NON-BREEDERS ALLOWED
        Because that’s what these laws are saying. What part of “limit the activity, not the demographic” is so incredibly difficult to understand?

        I don’t support those laws or signs. If it were up to me the message I’d try to convey would be “this area is intended for the enjoyment and safety of young children, all other visitors should conduct themselves in such a way that preserves and supports that environment.” I feel the same way about skate parks. You shouldn’t have to have a skateboard to enter, but if you’re just standing around on a grindrail while others are trying to use it for its intended purpose then you should a hint and find another place to hang out.

        We parents aren’t entirely immune from the insane anti-pedophilia panic either, BTW. Every time I take my daughter into the men’s room to change her diaper I feel like there’s a sign taped to my back that says ‘WATCH OUT FOR POTENTIAL CHILD MOLESTER.’

        • Jack says:

          Your logic is just too apologetic. For decades parks and playgrounds existed and people enforced basic social contracts of behavior on their own. There is no need for a government agency to enforce rules like this.

          • Brainspore says:

            I don’t think we need new government enforcement, these signs and laws are totally over the top. I just want people to practice some basic human decency and honor the spirit of special-use areas, just as most people already do and have always done.

          • Jack says:

            Basic human decency should be determined by the humans who are in so-called “special use” areas.

          • Brainspore says:

            I agree.

  73. Antinous / Moderator says:

    And of course it should go without saying that it does not follow that restricting use of a playground to only children and their parents does not necessarily restrict gay couples.

    Laws restricting certain classes of people from using public parks have a name: Jim Crow Laws. Laws which target childless people will disproportionately affect GLBT citizens as well as senior citizens.

    I don’t have a problem with telling adults to stay off the swing set any more than I have a problem with telling people that they can’t run on the lawn bowling courts. But telling them to stay out of the park or off the benches? That grossly infringes the rights of childless people.

    • Jack says:

      I completely agree. But you also realize that this is an NYC that as of the past month or so has also banned smoking from public parks and beaches? There is a much larger nanny state issue happening here and it’s sickening.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        With smoking, you can argue that it affects other people. Public consumption of doughnuts, not so much. I have yet to hear any reason why having unrelated adults around children causes any detriment to anybody, anywhere, ever, in any time, space or parallel universe or dimension. Other than ZOMG Pedophiles!!! Viewing childless people as ‘creepy’ is witch-hunt hysteria.

    • GorillaBot says:

      >Laws restricting certain classes of people from using public parks have a name: Jim Crow Laws.

      Whoa… wait… what?

      Designating a *playground* as being kids-only ( / kids with guardians ) is a Jim-Crow law?

      Really?

    • hinten says:

      That grossly infringes the rights of [...] people.

      Tell us how you feel about:
      - not being able to use the opposite sex bathroom
      - any institution or facility that has strict age policies e.g. kindergarten, AARP, bars (not for drinking just entering, depending on your state),etc.
      - rides that have height or weight restrictions
      - my blind friend in a library

      In a nutshell, there are plenty of restrictions and limitations to what each one of us can and is allowed to do. Unless the effected group is a protected group your whining of infringement is just hot air.
      The sooner you realize that the physical manifestations of people are different and, as such, get treated differently the easier it will be for you to go through life.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        What part of my describing the validity of use restriction based on function whooshed above your head?

      • Jack says:

        Duck hunting season for canards!

        - not being able to use the opposite sex bathroom
        Women are routinely sexually assaulted in the U.S. and in other countries. Dividing up bathrooms makes complete sense; it’s not done to protect men. And in the case of unisex bathrooms, they are most often in bars, restaurants or other controlled areas where if something were to happen, a nice big bouncer will kick the person out the door.

        - any institution or facility that has strict age policies e.g. kindergarten, AARP, bars (not for drinking just entering, depending on your state),etc.
        Kindergartens are strictly for children and created explicitly as a protected environment for children. AARP is an organized group to help give a marginalized portion of society power in an increasingly youth obsessed world. And bars restrict by age because anyone less than drinking age going into a bar is not there to soak up the atmosphere.

        - rides that have height or weight restrictions
        Rides have mechanical requirements and if you are too tall, too small, too fat or too underweight you can put yourself at risk for injury.

        - my blind friend in a library
        What the heck does this mean? The blind are not barred from libraries?

        Keep the list coming! We all need to hear more nonsense about how two adults eating doughnuts on a bench are a threat to children.

  74. TriadX1 says:

    When I was a kid, I remember an old lady I knew as “Grandma Anna” who lived in our neighborhood. She once told me a story of how her and her husband had built a nursery for their first baby that they planned on having as soon as her husband returned from the WWII. She wanted several, as she loved kids. But her husband was killed in WWII. She was still in love with that man, so she never remarried, and thus never had any children of her own.

    She used to bake cookies, treats and homemade candy and bring them to the local park for the kids there everyday. We all loved her like a grandma. Even as a kid, I knew this was the only thing she had left to live for. She was lonely, and I know it really helped to fill that missing piece in her life, and gave her a sense of need. Sad that someone like this now would be viewed as a pedophile freak and thrown out. What does this teach our kids today?

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