Prospect Park

Even though I’ve lived in the NYC area for a couple years now, I’ve rarely gone into Brooklyn because, quite frankly, why would I?  I mean, I’ve gone to Brighton Beach and the BBG and Bk Museum a couple times, but nothing more.  But yesterday I decided to go to Prospect Park because I’d heard it was really pretty and I had nothing else to do.  Marc used to live in the area and told me: “Stay in the north corner of the park by Grand Army Plaza unless you want to get mugged.  If you get to Parkside Avenue on the southern edge of the park, you’re in trouble.”

So I get there and the first thing I do is walk through Park Slope to the Starbucks.  Park Slope is really nice, btw.  I totally fit in 🙂  Afterwards I went to Grand Army Plaza and saw the beautiful fountain and arch, then I went in the park and just started walking.  Me in a park is like a kid in a candy shop.  I want to explore every path, and don’t really think about where I am.  And since it was the middle of the afternoon and there were people everywhere, I didn’t worry about it.  So I’m walking and I’m walking along all these beautiful trails and ponds and lakes, when I suddenly come upon a street.  I figure I must have walked to one of the sides of the park and go to look at the street sign.  Parkside Avenue.  Hmmmm…..right where Marc told me not to go….. It didn’t look as ghetto as he had made it out to be, and there were still people around, so I decided to cross over and go walk in this area called the Parade Grounds, which has a lot of sports fields.  Up until halfway through this area I was planning on going back to the office on Monday and telling Marc that it sure didn’t look like he’d grown up in the really bad ghetto, but after the halfway point, the crowd kind of deteriorated, and then I reached Caton Avenue, another street Marc had told me to avoid at all costs.  Turns out, he was right about growing up in the ghetto…. I guess I’m still just amazed how quickly neighborhoods in this city can change.  A couple blocks can mean the difference between upscale and drug-infested.

Anyway, I quickly turn around and backtrack to the park.  Now it’s a little later in the afternoon and the crowds are starting to disappear and I’m starting to wish I had listened to Marc.  I mean, there were still people, so I wasn’t worried worried, but the speed at which the crowds dissipated was a little bit unnerving.  I stuck to the main paths on the way back because the couple of times I thought about exploring a few side paths, I looked down the path and saw one or two thuggish looking guys just hanging around and decided exploring was not worth getting mugged or worse……

But alls well that ends well and I ended up back at Grand Army Plaza completely in one piece, and that’s what counts, right? 🙂


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