- McCarren Park is Greenpoint's most popular park, due
mainly to its conspicuous location between Bedford and Bayard Avenues,
on Lorimer Street. Comprised of baseball fields, a running track and
handball courts, McCarren park carries the onus of Greenpoint's
recreation. For canine park goers there's a dog-run at the South-West
corner of the park, adjacent to the Russian Orthodox church. Also
for canine and
other animal fans, watch for the Annual Animal Show and Parade put on by
Animal Resource Coalition (BARC) at McCarren Park, it's a must see.
(Beneath the dome of the Russian Orthodox
Cathedral of the Transfiguration kids play an improv game of
baseball in McCarren Park.)
- McGolrick Park sits east of both Manhattan and McGuiness
Avenues, on Russel Street between Nassau and Driggs. Unlike McCarren
Park to the west, McGolrick Park affords a semblance of seclusion, and many
benches to relax on.
The centerpiece of McGolrick Park is the War Memorial (for the WWI battles of Argonne and St. Mihiel) and the Shelter Pavilion.
The Shelter Pavilion
(having recently undergone a 2 million dollar renovation) is designed after the Grand Trianon which stands at Versaille, France.
On summer afternoons, many Polish mothers and grandmothers stroll with baby carriages in the shade of the sycamore trees.
For locals with dogs craving exercise, there's
a large dog-run located at the southern end of the park.
To get to
McGolrick Park, head east on Driggs or Nassau avenues to Russel Street.
- Barge Park is located at the very northern tip of Greenpoint. The
"park" might better be described as a playground, since there are but few trees and
no grass. A few benches are afforded, from which there are nice views of the
Manhattan skyline. Despite its name and proximity to both Newtown Creek and the East River,
there is no water access from Barge Park itself.
- Although technically parking lots, the Western ends
of both Huron Street and Java Street function somewhat like parks, since they end at the
East River. Both streets are legal access points to the River,
and can be crowded
during the summer months with Polish high school kids or fishermen. You may notice
that many locals ignore fences and signs, treating the entire waterfront as an access
point (but be advised that this is both illegal and potentially dangerous). If you have a nautical bent, or are just curious why the stuff in the river
sometimes floats up the river, check out the tides for the greenpoint waterfront.
- Fitting for Greenpoint, the landmark by which to find American Playground is a prominent
watertower emblazoned with the polish flag. Although not on park property itself, the conspicuous
watertower looms above the basketball and handball courts that comprise the park. American Playground is located between
Noble and Milton streets on Franklin Avenue. Usually, there's not too much traffic in American Playground,
except for an occasional pick-up basketball game between the local teenagers.
The streets surrounding American Playground have frequently, and continue to be used for Hollywood film locations. Recently (spring 2004), both
House of D (starring Robin Williams and David Duchovny) and the Interpreter (starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn)
were filmed on adjacent streets.