Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Prospect Park -- a not so little gem in Brooklyn

A few weeks ago I was posting about front yards in Brooklyn. I meant to include out biggest yard of all, but I completely forgot to include those photos.

So, we may not have big back yards, though some people have created lovely oases in their back yard. But we all get to enjoy this lovely park. Prospect Park is 585 acres in the heart of Brooklyn that first opened to the public in 1867. It was designed by the same partners - Olmstead and Vaux  - who designed the more famous Central Park in Manhattan.

This map shows the entire park. My photos are mostly of the entry by Grand Army Plaza (Top right) and the Long Meadow (labeled)

Each Saturday, there is a huge Farmers' Market in entrance tot he park by Grand Army Plaza. I've shared photos of that market before, but here are some from last Saturday.

I headed to the market in search of herb plants for my kitchen. I'd heard rosemary and peppermint were natural bug repellants, so that's what I was looking for.

This is the arch at Grand Army Plaza. On the Prospect Park Alliance's website, I found this interesting bit of information.
The Plaza was one of the first features of Prospect Park to be built and marks the beginning of the Eastern Parkway (1866), the world’s first parkway, also designed by Vaux and his partner Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903). The parkway’s intended purpose was to connect the City’s parks with ornamental roads free of commercial traffic. 

Want to buy wool?

This is where my herbs came from.

Food. Any Texans know of King David Tacos?

Cactus, anyone?

It's peach season.

Once you walk into the park, you could follow the roadway (no cars allowed) ...

or stroll along a path under the arches.

Then you're at the Long Meadow where you may see dogs romping in the morning, or volleyball games on a hot Saturday.

Someone left an artful display on the path.

In the summer, all is lush and green. This is a different park entrance.

Does it surprise you to see such large dedicated green spaces in the heart of the city?

Do you have a favorite public park?

In response to Kav's comment below, I took this snap from Google Earth. The large green part on top is Greenwood Cemetary. The slightly larger green below is Prospect Park.


  1. What a lovely park, Mary Cate. And that arch in one of your first pictures reminds me of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The King David tacos had me laughing, though.

    1. BTW, I love these glimpses of Brooklyn you share with us.

    2. Thanks. The King David sign was just for you, Mindy.

  2. I love getting a glimpse of life (and flora and fauna) in the different areas y'all live in. You pretty much have the states covered. Small-town, big city, much fun!

    So, yes, I'm definitely surprised at the size of that park! Especially because real estate must be prime there and I can't believe developers haven't been able to encroach on it. That's happened a lot up here. We had a greenbelt around the city and it was supposed to be safe from developers but city hall sold us out and the greenbelt has a number of breaks in it now. Grrrr.

    We have lots of smaller parks in the city -- with and a canal running through the downtown area there's lots of scope for greenspaces along their shores. A little pocket handkerchief types in every neighbourhood too. Nothing like yours though.

    1. Kav, I'm sorry about your greenbelt. That's so shortsighted.
      I was looking at Google Earth with a friend yesterday and we noted that as large as Prospect Park is, Greenwood Cemetery takes up almost as much acreage. I'm going to load a photo in that I snapped from Google Earth.

    2. Wow -- that aerial shot really does put it in perspective. Amazing!

  3. Oh my stars, Cate, are there two arches like that in NYC? Because I know I've been to a big arch like that, but I don't remember being in one in Brooklyn.... but maybe that was it? Or did they design a cool arch in one of the Manhattan parks?

    I LOVE SEEING THESE PICS! There is so much to love about NYC. It's got so many faces. And I love those fresh air markets. I think the city folk appreciate them so much. Out here we can get anything, anytime, but in the city you're limited a bit. That sounds odd, doesn't it? And yet it's true because I can hop in a car and in ten minutes be wherever I need to be to get things, but I love a good market. There's something old and exciting about market booths, isn't there?

    Thank you for this reminder of how wonderful your city is!

    1. Ruthy, you're probably thinking of Washington Square downtown by NYU.

  4. What fun! Thanks for sharing, Mary Cate! It's a beautiful area. I love those tunnels/arches! I never would have imagined another park area that large. You've educated me!

    1. You'll have to come walk in it some day, Missy.