28 March 2010

My First Leisurely Visit To Prospect Park

Today was a dreary, cold day that would be best spent curled up with a few movie DVDs. Instead of that, I cycled along Ocean Parkway to Prospect Park, went along the loop from the southern end (Fort Hamilton Parkway) to the northern end (Grand Army Plaza) then back along the same route, for a total of 20 kilometers. The ride along Ocean Parkway was not enjoyable at all. The long stretches between the Avenues were great, but at each end of the stretches were cars waiting to get to the other side, cars turning from Ocean Parkway, and most of them were your typical NYC drivers who do not yield to pedestrians and cyclists. There were some good exceptions though. One guy, upon realizing that he blocked the cyclist path, waved apologetically and actually backed off. One lady, turning into the crossroad from the service road, actually let me pass and missed her green light. Prospect Park made it worth the trip, though.

It was not my first visit to Prospect Park, per se. I drove to the iceskating rink before, but of course to me driving is never fun. There was just too many things out there to pay attention to. Some crazy drivers, some careless pedestrian or cyclist, and of course, all the rules and regulations. I went there once with my son on a school trip to the Audubon Nature Center. Again, I was busy watching my own kid and the other kids, sort of helping the teachers with crowd control. No fun there. Only today, even with the less-than-ideal weather, did I have a chance to leisurely go through the park. I stopped at some plaque marking the spot as part of the Battle of Brooklyn. There were some statues that I never noticed before. I also noticed for the first time some hilltops, with steps to make the trip easier, as well as some nature trails through the woods. The ride back toward the Fort Hamilton junction was mostly downhill, with the wind rushing through my hair, it was wonderful. I had a camera on me but with the cloudy/rainy weather I didn't feel like taking any pictures. My sister publication over at http://top-of-the-arch.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-york-is-on-my-mind-cherry-blossom.html does have some nice photos of Prospect Park during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

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