Harbor seal sprinklers in use on a hot summer’s day.
If you were to enter the East River Park at Delancey Street and head south until Grand Street, twenty-seven harbor seal sculptures in all kinds of positions would cheerfully greet you.
During the sweltering days of summer, some of these sculptures become sprinklers and draw children, dogs and the occasional jogger to the park. During the chillier months, the seals stay dry, though children still happily play atop them. However, since this park is in a quieter area relative to the entire East Side, it doesn’t get too crowded.
Artist Gerry Augustine Lynas, who has done freelance design in New York City since 1970 and made sculptures for five other New York City parks, designed and created the sculptures for this sprinkler area. The bronze and fiberglass seals were installed in 2001, with smaller sculptures of turtles and crabs scattered between them. This area is next to the Fire Boat House, where the East River Park Environmental Learning Center is.
While New York City is home to many famous parks, be sure to check out this lesser-known, quirky gem during your East Side wanderings.
For more on the lesser-known parks of New York City, check out 13 of the Best Pocket Parks in NYC and the Glass Waterfall Tunnel at the Little-Known McGraw-Hill Park in Midtown Manhattan. Get in touch with the author @sgeier97.