Along these lines, I really dearly miss the yet-more-evil concrete playgrounds that graced my stomping grounds in Central Park and Riverside Park in Manhattan. If wooden playgrounds were the forests of the imagination, these were the bunkers; domes, pyramids, mazes, bridges and more, all made of industrial concrete. Perfect for skinning knees and elbows, splitting open chins and scalps when falling, and of course, hiding, seeking and playing Lazer Tag (the original).

The pyramids had handholds up the outside, daring you to climb them and perhaps lose your grip, sliding back down to the sandbox with your chin slamming into every handhold along the way. The sand would stay damp for a week after a rain, leaving a moldy smell in the tunnels that bored through the pyramid and led to the ladder to the top.

The bridge was a narrow slot running down a concrete oblong. You could jump off it into the sandbox.

I haven't been back there in a couple of years. I sincerely hope they're still there, although I have my doubts; the shelter they offered became popular with the Central Park homeless.

Update: Win! DejaMorgana reports that Central Park still has 'at least two' of the bunker-style playgrounds. The areas around the sandboxes have been resurfaced with the 'softer' rubberized concrete, but apparently the sandboxes and playground bunkers are still the same. Wonderful news.