Prospect Park is my latest home away from home. Just a few blocks from my house, the park is part of my weekly routine and I begin to crave it if I have not had my fill. In the summer it is swarming with people from all over Brooklyn since it is the largest in the Borough and conveniently located to many of the most populous neighborhoods.
It is quite inspiring to see how widely used the park is in the community. Now that the weather is fabulous, it is difficult to find a spot to even sit on the lawn some days. I have only experienced this once before in Munich’s English Garden. People were sitting blanket to blanket as if they were watching a concert. I love that a park has the power to bring so many people together. Hundred plus year old trees and gorgeous green lawns bring us to a place of appreciation and calm.
Prospect Park is definitely a huge community driver for its surrounding neighborhoods. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park Zoo, Audubon Center and weekly Green Market all call the park home. In the summer, the park is host to Celebrate Brooklyn, a mostly free three month long concert/movie series. Jimmy Cliff, Keb’ Mo’ and Wilco are included in this year’s series! Free events of all kinds play throughout the year in the park.
Perhaps my favorite aspect is the limited car policy in the park. A paved loop just on the inside of the Prospect Park’s perimeter is the only road with the option of car traffic. No roads transverse the park, which was intentionally designed to create a long meadow view to provide a sense of truly being in nature. Cars are only allowed in the park during limited hours leaving the road available for bikers, runners and walkers. It is an ideal bike path for me since it is so difficult to find open roads in this jam-packed city.
The ability to be lost in a nature filled space is a special feature in Prospect Park. At certain points the trees are so thick and the topography is so that all the surrounding buildings are blocked from view. It is at these vantages where I see the brilliance that went into the park’s design.