, 2022-10-08 10:00:00,
The great outdoors just feels a little greater in Kingston, a true accomplishment for an urban environment. Depending on how you define “park,” there are at least 17 of them in and around the city, more if you count nearby Esopus. Nobody believes me when I tell them this. To spite these doubters, I recently visited all of Kingston’s 17 parks over the course of two days, and ranked them from least to most impressive.
Some Kingston parks are smaller than the yard of a single-family home, while others span miles of trails. Some are almost always empty. Others have hundreds and sometimes thousands of daily visitors. On the whole, the quality, quantity and diversity of Kingston’s park operations are impressive. There’s something for everyone.
#17 — Kingman Park
Hidden drive off Moore Street
We start with a park I’m not even sure I was supposed to be in.
You’ll only find Kingman Park if you’re really looking, and even then it’s pretty hidden. GPS directions won’t get you there. You need to find what looks like a secret driveway with a Little League sign off of Moore Street, and then drive up a winding, single-lane path to a wide pasture with two baseball fields and no parking areas.
The only thing still maintained here are the lawns of the baseball field. The dugouts are covered in graffiti, weeds have overgrown the bleachers and there’s trash littered throughout. The boarded-up announcer’s tower and discarded signage are evidence there was once a thriving Little League scene here, but today it appears largely abandoned. Made me want to play some rogue baseball, but I also felt like I would be arrested for trespassing if I overstayed my visit.
#16 — Van Buren Street Park
Corner of Van Buren Street and Delmont Place
This tiny square isn’t so much a park as it is a city playground, and it’s not much of a playground, either. I drive by this park frequently on visits to the Kingston Library, and I have never seen a single adult or child in it.
There’s a scuffed-up gazebo and a few things for kids to play on, but that’s about it.
This “park” feels like an afterthought by the city, to provide the kids of the neighborhood with something to escape the surrounding homes, many of which are visibly falling apart. They don’t seem to be returning the favor, but who knows, maybe it fills up when school gets out.
If I ever see someone here, I’ll ask them if my…
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