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Laser Tag, Mechanical Bull and Nap Pods Among Suggestions for Bryant Park

By Alan Neuhauser | October 30, 2013 3:42pm
 Bryant Park is located between 40th and 42nd streets in Midtown Manhattahn.
Bryant Park
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MIDTOWN — Laser tag, nap pods and a mechanical bull.

These are just a few programs for Bryant Park suggested by the public through a new online crowd-sourcing campaign seeking ideas for the popular green space.

The park, frequented by about 6 million visitors annually, is soliciting ideas through Popularise, a website that allows groups and users to post potential event ideas and vote for their favorites.

The site has mostly been used by real estate developers to generate ideas for underused spaces, but Bryant Park is the site's first nonprofit and park to utilize it, said Bryant Park Corporation president Dan Biederman

"Everybody has ideas for what should be going on in their neighborhood," he said. "It's almost like the jury system: These people will be good because everybody has views about their environment."

More than a dozen programs have been proposed through the crowd-sourcing site, including a carnival, paella festival, open-mic concert series, Slip 'N Slide, mechanical-bull rodeo, and an "X-Files" viewing party. Bryant Park hosts hundreds of events each year, ranging from free juggling workshops to film screenings.

"The mechanical bull — we had discussions in house as well when we were planning our square dance," said Bryant Park operations associate Amanda Wigen, referring to the park's annual late-summer hoe-down. "It's funny how some of the same ideas can ping back off each other."

There's no cut-off date for submitting an event or voting, but anyone who submits by Dec. 31 will be entered to win a Bryant Park blanket. Anyone whose event is selected will have his or her name engraved on a plaque on one of the chairs in the park.

As of Wednesday morning, a "Twin Peaks" marathon led the voting.

"We were talking about how we love 'Twin Peaks' ideas and thought that it would be a good idea for the Southwest Porch," said Tricia Lewis, Bryant Park's social media director, of a program recommendation for the park's outdoor cafe.

"Of all the ideas submitted, we could easily go and do all of them in a year," Biederman added. "These are good ideas."