I didn’t get in enough park time over the summer. I was on the go too much to wander over to the park and meander down paths or sit in the grass. I had a picnic at one point, but it was a planned get-together with friends, not a spontaneous decision to get out and enjoy the summer weather.
And let’s be real — I’m not the biggest fan of real summer weather. Sitting in the park when it’s 85+ degrees out is only tolerable in the shade, and let’s forget taking a walk. So the best time to enjoy Prospect Park (and really? the best time of year, period) is fall. Not too hot, not too cold, and before long the leaves will be changing color.
I’ve been back from Italy for ten days – just about how long I was gone – and fall has officially, well, fallen. In Rome, it got to be 90 degrees. Even in Venice I was fine at night with a sweater. But in the last two days in New York, as rain has poured from the sky and into my leaky boots, I’ve started layering under my rain jacket and wondering when I should pull out my woolen winter coat. I still need to get my AC out of the window so the draft (and noise) stops seeping into my apartment.
Right now I’m sitting on the couch writing this wrapped in a blanket. My heat is on, but it’s still chilly.
It’s been a long time since I was a true tourist in New York, someone who didn’t know her way around the city and got lost easily. I took the subway by myself for the first time as a sophomore in college, traveling from Grand Central all the way up to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, even navigating a service change. Since then I’ve made my way on my own. Okay, there’s the occasional brain fart where I forget which direction is west and which is east, but besides that, I can get myself around without too much trouble.
My dad came to visit this weekend and on Saturday morning we knew we needed to spend time outside. It was a gorgeous day, in the upper seventies, and after brunch at a diner we wandered over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Famous for its cherry blossom festival each spring, the Botanic Garden is located in the northeast part of Prospect Park, near the Brooklyn Museum and the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. When we got there, we made a lovely discovery: admission is free on Saturday mornings between 10 am and 12 pm. Read more
It’s my first real Prospect Park Sunday ramble of spring. I’ve been here a couple times over the last few months on those weekends where we’ve gotten a taste of warm weather or sunshine, but today I’m in shorts and a t-shirt and flip flops.
I’m regretting the flip flops, but everything else was the right call.
There is a zoo in Prospect Park. I’m sure many people who live in Brooklyn know that. I know that. But while I’ve meandered around the park a fair bit, and seen signs for it, I’d never been there till this past Sunday. And now I can officially say, it’s worth the visit!
I would, however, suggest approaching the zoo from its Flatbush Ave entrance, rather than trying to find it from inside the park. My friend and I didn’t have too much trouble, once we were officially heading to the zoo, but we did notice that the signs pointing toward various attractions in the park did not always seem to point at paths at all, and sometimes the paths they pointed to did not make sense given the map that was usually posted nearby. So you’ve been warned.