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MAKE A FOUNTAIN is inspired by the intense curiosity, and apparent lack of boundaries, of the regular park-goers who hang out at the southernmost end of Sara D. Roosevelt Park (SDR).

SDR spans seven city blocks north to south in lower Manhattan. The southernmost section, colloquially known as the “All Purpose Field (APF),” takes up a block (approx. 430’ X 170’). Located at the foot of Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown, it’s circumscribed by Hester (N), Canal (S), Chrystie (W) and Forsyth (E) Streets. It’s also adjacent to Pace High School and MS 131.

The former soccer field-turned-playground is predominantly populated by ethnic Chinese people from the neighborhood engaging in a wide range of activities, especially in the summertime. It’s fascinating to see people of all ages play together and renegotiate their spaces every day!

The APF can roughly be divided into three zones: A, B and C. There are main exits in each of its four corners (on the Forsyth Street side, there are two additional entrances).

Zone A (approx. 430’ X 170’) is paved with concrete. There, you’d see folks lounging along the short stone wall along Chrystie Street, or playing cards on square concrete chess tables under the trees on the Hester Street side.

Zone C (approx. 245’ X 95’) is the area that used to be a soccer field, and it is covered with faded green AstroTurf. With the soccer gates now removed, it also welcomes other games like volleyball, badminton, wrestling, etc. Large groups of women congregate there around 8 pm each night, forming rows and doing synchronized choreography to upbeat disco songs. There are also people just sitting, spacing out, chatting and/or snacking on the carpeting, while the kids weave through the crowd with or without immediate parental supervision.

Both Zone A and C are lively and don’t seem to be governed by a particular order. Zone B, a red track, does, however: people tend to stroll or run there, alone and in groups, counterclockwise.

More is more.