Sports & Recreation

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Best Midnight Playground San Francisco 2005 -

Michelangelo Playground

Greenwich between Jones and Leavenworth

Sometimes a grown-up just has to slide and swing and jump from ring to ring, especially when it's 'round midnight in the asphalt jungle, the dives and joints are thrumming and shrieking, and a little alfresco regression is a beatific necessity. Three blocks uphill from the grappa-scented neon of North Beach is a juvenescent oasis where the simple pleasure of coasting down a sand-slick slide is particularly splendid by the light of the moon. Michelangelo Playground is tucked away on a vertiginous stretch of Greenwich, with apartment buildings on three sides and a fine view of Coit Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid. Its distinctions include a jungle gym, a tire swing, three kinds of slides, and one of those suspension bridges that wiggle when you cross them. There's also a water fountain, a little alcove with benches, and a bit of lawn where you can stretch out and contemplate the stars: a peaceful refuge for the inevitability of youth.

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