Thursday, December 21, 2006

My New Obsession a Few Months Too Late...

I still consider myself new to Brooklyn. It has only been 8 months since I moved to the DUMBO area. So I love it when friends come into visit and I get to play tour guide because I am still discovering cool places and new hoods.

This past weekend as ya'll know my friend from Austin came into town. On Sunday we drove up to Prospect Park after hanging out on the pier at Fairway in Red Hook. No, I am not a terrible hostess taking my friends to the grocery store. She really, really wanted to go and plus it's a terrific view of the Statue of Liberty. In any case, we drove up to the park and now I am obsessed! I can't believe it took me so long to get there and see it for myself. Some observations/suprises ...

1) It's huge! Well not huge like Central Park, but it's really really big. Did you know it's 585 acres? Don't get lost, here's a map.
2) It's beautiful. The entrances into the Park are grand and reminds me of the area around Columbus Circle in Manhattan, which makes perfect sense considering Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed both parks.
3) It has a resevoir like Central Park, but it's actually a lake because it's all natural and not manmade like several elements of Central Park. You can go boating on an electric or pedal boat.
4) There is a Zoo! I've been to the Central Park Zoo and found it to be a nice escape with some interesting animals, despite the crowds and funny smells. I'll definitely be touring the BK version.
5) Like its Manhattan cousin, there are bike paths and running trails, and kids and playgrounds. There are lots of stretches of lawn for sunbathing, frisbee throwing and lounging.
6) It was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn back in August 1776. According to the park's Web site:
"The Continental Army under George Washington fortified passes along a section of Flatbush Avenue that now serves as the Park's Drive. As British and Hessian soldiers approached from the south, the Americans fought in vain to hold them back at Battle Pass. Although the Continental Army lost the battle, they held the British back long enough for Washington's forces to make a moonlit escape from Brooklyn Heights to New Jersey. Today, plaques just north of the zoo commemorate this event, as does the Maryland Monument at the foot of Lookout Hill."

7) Ice Skating is also available. Not that I am good at it or would especially want to go and fall on my ass, but it's nice to know the option is there and doesn't require waiting on the ginormous line in Rockafeller center.
8) HORSEBACK RIDING! This is in all caps because I HEART Horses and have since I was a little girl. I used to horseback ride competitively and may have to do this when it gets warmer.
9) They also have tennis bubbles, quite a few, so you can play tennis in bad weather too. Another activity I do not excel in but I may take a lesson now that it's close by.

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