The kids and I have been spending much time at Riverside Park, a long, beautiful stretch of green that lies along the Hudson River. It reminds me of Riverside Park in GR, only not with the sometime sketchy reputation for nefarious activity. Riverside has playgrounds scattered every few blocks, each with a different theme (Hippo, Dinosaur, Wild West). The one nearest to us is Hippo, and on hot days water shoots from the hippos' mouths.
I'm careful to keep one eye on the kids while they're playing, but the park is not quite so amusing to me as it is to a 3 and 5 year old. Besides the occassional small talk with other adults, I play a sort of guessing game which involves deciphering whether the accompanying adults in the park are the child's mother or nanny. When the adult and child are a different race or ethnicity, the answer is usually fairly obvious. True also when the nanny has a pronounced accent and the child doesn't. But other times, the challenge is greater. If the woman is under 30 or over 50, chances are that she's a nanny (at the bank the other day, the teller said to Steve, "You're only 32 and already have a 5 year old? Wow, you started early!"). I've also noticed that the mothers tend to be dressed down more than the younger nannies, who are quite trendy and fantastic-looking for a playground. Other than that, it's hard to tell.