NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s not something you see every day in the park, but then again New York isn’t like every other city.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is showing it can have some fun and spread it around, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported Tuesday.
It’s a sign of funny times, quite literally. The city is getting creative and people are taking notice.
In March, the Parks Department installed 20 green signs all over Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan. Now, it’s getting some recognition.
“We did it all very sort of silently, with the hope that people would kind of discover them on their own,” said Vanessa Valdes, Parks Department creative director. “So that’s part of the whole idea, just a little bit of surprise and delight.”
The project adds playfulness and delight for both first-time park-goers and for those who visit daily.
“Anything a person will read, and digest it and think about it, it will create a little positivity,” said Louis Massey of the Bronx.
Signs are all over parks, of course, are typically all about nature. The city wanted to turn that on its head and use signs to share Fort Tryon’s unique voice and encourage people to experience the park in a new way, with a sense of humor.
“As a city agency, I think sometimes folks think we are sort of stuffy bureaucrats, but we want to people to have fun. We love our parks and we want people to love them as well,” Valdes said.
Fort Tryon Park was selected because of its diverse usership, range of facilities, and interesting landscapes. Some signs are even in Spanish — one read “Reserved for cool people” — to promote diversity.
“Definitely gives us a giggle while we are hiking up a hill,” said Amy O’Brien of Inwood.
Others Layton spoke to said the signs are keeping New York interesting.
“I actually didn’t know it was the city. It kind of seemed too fun to be the city, so I thought ‘Who is putting up these very clever signs?'” said Sheva Zucker of Washington Heights.
“I think it just keep the city fun. I’ve lived here — I went to high school and college her and I feel like the city is gentrifying and becoming less interesting. A lot of the quirky interesting things are being removed,” added former New Yorker Beth Kissileff.
Since the signs were designed by the city and made in-house, they cost nothing. And though they are only temporary, the city said you may see similar signs pop up in other parks soon.