Sweet Dreams are Made of This – Domino Park

And the sweetest park of them all.  Domino Park, the fabulous new waterside park in Williamsburg, brings a fresh look to the urban landscape and a true treat to visitors, young and old alike. 

If you are not familiar with this green space, it was recently featured in various news outlets as the city park with the newly created social-distancing circles.

Domino Park is part of the re-development of the former Domino Sugar Plant which has been an iconic Brooklyn fixture since the late 19th century. Under the vision of Two Trees Management, the eleven-acre site is being developed into a creative mix of residential, commercial, and open space.  Once completed, the project will incorporate 2,800 rental units and 800,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

But this isn’t just any park.  This spanking new waterside park spans roughly five acres along the East River with an elevated walk that runs almost its full length.  Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the same firm responsible for the Highline and the open space plan at the Cornell Tech Campus, this innovative green space is full of fun and bursting with activities for the whole family. 

And every inch of park enjoys a splendid postcard view of the Manhattan skyline, the East River and the hulking Williamsburg Bridge just to the south.

While the sugar refinery has been replaced, the park architects triumphed in preserving the site’s history into the design scheme.  Various artifacts have been salvaged from the old factory and have been incorporated into the park, only enhancing the experience of this one-of-a-kind public space.  These tributes to the site’s industrial past are wondrous and deserve some reflection when visiting.  The actual brick refinery building, which is easily identified by any seasoned New Yorker, sits directly behind the park and will remain a cultural landmark for future generations. The structure, with its iconic smokestack and yellow Domino Sugar sign, has been converted to commercial office use by Two Trees.

Let’s start with the playground, a true-to-life Candyland of climbing apparatus and slides that would make Willy Wonka blush with envy.  While your kid may not care, there is a lot of sugary history built within the playground design, in essence an industrial journey through the actual sugar refining process.  

Starting at the northern end of the playground, one starts their passage climbing aboard Sugar Cane Cabin.   Climb higher until you reach the summit atop Sweetwater Silo or exit out into Sugarcube Centrifuge. No matter your destination, your child always has the option to slide their way back to ground level.  And once they’ve built up a sweat, they can cool down at the fog bridge or frolic amidst the dancing fountains.  Then of course you can start all over again because this park has no time limitations.  

As far as grown-up entertainment, one can choose from a host of recreational activities or just do nothing at all.  Offerings include beach volleyball, bocce ball, and a turf playing field to get your game on.  If hanging out is your activity of choice, just lie back in one of the designated circles, relax on one of the supplied lounge chairs or join your dog at the dog run.  No one is left out here.   

If you’re hungry for a quick snack or thirsty for an adult beverage, Tacocino provides an informal outdoor dining and drinking area on the north end of the park.  As the name states, tacos are at the core of the menu.
Want more? Domino Park is open to visitors from 6AM to 1AM, closing for a mere five hours a day. It’s yet another aspect of this truly unique and vibrant park that sets it apart. Sound enticing?  Check out Linecity to view current available apartments in Williamsburg near Domino Park.

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