Extremely busy playground with a solid layout.
There are at least four sections, all with different types of equipment. On the day we visited, it was absolute chaos, with kids waiting their turn for every slide and swing and babies crawling up the stairs and ramps.
Bruno had a blast ditching us and just running in between all of the different parts at top speed. It was very hard to stick with him so I think this would be best for independent children.
The equipment is on the older side but not completely worn out yet. That said, it’s not particularly well maintained, and there was a lot of trash on the ground and not enough garbage cans to contain it (a classic NYC nitpick for me).
We had a good time, and then our toddler ran out the large open gate.
Like so many playgrounds, the flow of young children hasn't been considered, and the large gates that no doubt facilitate large machinery coming and going to the playground are also a great escape route for toddlers who have decided the new game is to run away.
Before our toddler made a mad dash for the street, he did have fun on the equipment. There was a number of varied pieces with good combinations of climbing and sliding. And since there were several different pisces tot climb on he did find it fun to run around from section to section.
Overall there are clearly some maintenance issues. The rubber mats have a lot of weeds growing out of them, and the sad little water feature frog could use some paint.
I didn't expect this playground to be so busy, especially in the early evening. In retrospect, visiting in the middle of Sukkot probably meant more people out celebrating. Even with the large number of people, the space didn't feel crowded as much as busy, and full of life. That's a distinction that I think some playgrounds, especially on the waterfront, don't – they get crowded and feel that way.
Sarah J. Tompkins Garnet was a suffragist based in New York City. She was the first black headmistress in New York City Public schools and PS9 is named in her honor. The playground is also known as the Middleton playground after a plantation owner from South Carolina. It's unclear when the name was changed.