Back in 1911, the Tompkins Square Park playground had a boys’ side and girls’ side. The Lower East Side playground was apparently very heavily used back then, even in the winter. It was an era before civilian use of radio. The advent of television and, later, computers and then smart phones were decades away. Families with young children sought a healthy social and physical activity in the fresh air and an escape from crowded tenements. Back then, kids were the opposite of coach potatoes, as can be seen in a photo from a “field day” in 1912 of a potato race.