In August 2023, the park held a heartwarming 'retirement party,' complete with a cake and party hats, to celebrate the arrival of six beloved animal sculptures.
Amid the bad news and chaos in the world and on the internet, The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has invented a new place in Queens for "retired" playground animals, as reported by Scary Mommy. The "Home for Retired Playground Animals" is in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York City and is "a passive, contemplative new area adjacent to the Unisphere." In August 2023, the park even held a "retirement party" with a cake and party hats, where they celebrated the six animals that are going to live here. These animals have entertained kids for years, including one camel, an aardvark, one frog, one elephant and two dolphins.
"At NYC Parks, our civil servants take many forms: not only park workers, but also the beloved concrete animals children have been playing on for decades in our playgrounds across the city," NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said in a press release. "We're so excited to unveil this new contemplative space in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as we send some of our hardest-working employees into retirement in style. We hope that despite their retirement, they will continue to inspire imagination and creativity in park-goers into the future."
Some animals, like aardvarks, have a sign on them that reads, "Do not climb on the animals — they are retired." According to Time Out, these sculptures were created in the 80s and the 90s when former parks commissioner Henry Stern asked designers to include animal art in the parks. After the parks' renovation, these animals began losing their homes - until recently. Surprisingly, this is not the only addition to the park. They have added new benches to the parks for "contemplation" and a wheelchair-accessible pathway. Moreover, they are also planning to add more plants and trees for a better experience.
In another beautiful story from New York City, a floral designer, Lewis Miller, loves to express himself through flowers and plans to beautify New York even further. Lewis Miller is using flowers to turn garbage cans from an eyesore into larger-than-life flower vases. Lewis Miller is calling them Flower Flashes and they can be seen on some busy streets. Miller's "larger-than-life flower vases" stand out for their bright colors and innovative designs. Being the owner of Lewis Miller Design, a company specializing in floral design and decoration, Miller never runs out of flowers.
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He constantly has leftover flowers from events. Miller and his team use these flowers and bouquets to decorate trash cans. However, the initiative is not limited to just trash cans, with the artist and his team also reimagining statues, sculptures, and other public works of art. With trashcans and statues often being done in dark or neutral-toned colors such as black and grey, the floral decorations stand out, injecting life into the streets of New York. "Gifting flowers to New Yorkers is a simple idea that I have been thinking about for years," writes Lewis on the Lewis Miller Design website. "I wanted to recreate a similar feeling for the everyday city-dwellers and tourists of New York City." Miller said he always works to evoke an "emotional response through flowers."
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