Gone are the days when park benches meant a couple of slabs of wood held together with metal railings. These days, designers and landscape architects pay special attention to seating, seeing the ubiquitous park feature as a blank canvas for creative genius?something that the Times notes was unheard of a few decades ago. In the '70s and '80s, when crime rates were higher and homelessness was more prolific, the parks department wanted as few benches as possible. Now our butts have an endless array of artistic options. There are curving lounges, sinuous metal "zipper" benches, wide wooden chairs big enough for two, and even stadium seating built right into the landscape.