Thursday, July 17, 2008

Take a cruise. For $4

July 15

Take a cruise. For $4
by Lauren Traub Teton

“Vacation Close to Home” says the sign outside Playland Amusement Park in Rye, NY. This could be a Twifty motto. It’s not just about fuel prices, it’s an attitude that says you can enjoy leisure without packing your bags, even in the middle of the work week.

The annual Battle of the Bands brought us back to the park tonight. Four teenage bands playing and singing their hearts out to win a prize of $500 worth of recording time. What could be better on a perfect summer night than sitting outdoors watching kids do something they love, full of hope and passion for their music? The cost, a mere $5 for parking.

The lake cruise was a great way to catch a breeze as the small flat bottom boat toured us around the nature preserve next to the park. A few stationary painted animal statues surprised us around the bend. A live deer was spotted. 15 minutes of gentle relaxation. $4.

The park creator was a Twifty
Playland was America’s first planned amusement park, opened in 1928. The designer and manager of the park was a Twifty, back in 1927 when he designed it. They say Frank W. Darling was “an old amusement man, in experience, but not in years or enthusiasm.”

3.2 million people visited Playland in one year during the Depression. A mere 850,000 to 1 million people visit this charming beautiful Art Deco park (on the National Historic Register) annually now.


"Spend 2 minutes at, and you'll...feel...BETTER!

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