Prospect Park and Our Last Day in the City
Day 4 of our New York trip. Ah. So much walking. Just waking up and walking around the apartment Matt and I were limping just getting up to fix a pot of coffee. But our last full day in the city, we had to keep going. We decided to walk to Prospect Park again, but this time, make sure we wander around a lot more, explore the trails, ponds, and hidden gems. This is the final post to conclude our wonderful trip.
Waking up with the sun, I got up alone, while Matt slept, and wandered around our neighborhood in Carroll Gardens to capture the lovely neighborhood on 'film'. This Brownstone, above, was my favorite. Mums lining the steps, pumpkins for fall, a wreath on the door, and the quaintest little yard. I will live in a house like this someday. I just know it.
I'm still in awe of this part of the city. Sure, Manhattan is great and wonderful, and if I had an office in the Flatiron Building or an apartment in the village, I would be the happiest person on the planet, but in all reality, Brooklyn just seems so much more me. This trip has really been an eye-opened into what Matt and I want for our future, the life we want, and the life we are, from this point on, going to strive to have. I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about it.
Sure, we love Florida, but this move was never going to be a permanent one. We'll enjoy a few years here, soak up the sun, grow professionally and personally, enjoy the ocean nearby, and having the freedom of our own home, a yard, etc. But I like the idea of moving again. I don't want to jinx it too much (even though I don't believe in jinxing) and I'll zip my lips.
The walk to Prospect Park seemed to take forever on Sunday. My legs were like jelly from the knee down, the pain shooting up along the outside of my ankles upward to the sides of my calves. The park was about 2 miles from the apartment, and the walk couldn't have given us more beautiful weather. We took a different path than the day before, walking along Union Street the entire way, until we reached Grand Army Plaza.
The Northwest entrance to Prospect Park has this grand plaza, with a beautiful fountain, a statue for JFK, the Brooklyn Library, and more. With a Subway sub in my purse, we found a nice spot in the northernmost lawn to eat. We watched a group of guys playing touch football, and families everywhere, flying kites, biking, runners all over the place, and more. People watching was delightful. We walked back north, to the plaza, and continued east, towards the botanical gardens of the park, and closer to the Zoo, since this was the area we explored on Friday.
Quickly, the feel of the park changed, and it was like we were in a different neighborhood. Parts of the cast iron fence were clearly busted from car wrecks, vandalism, and replaced with chicken wire and the wooden fences you see on beaches in the off season. It was a definite feeling of, "I don't want to enter through that path, because I have no idea what would be waiting at the end of it"... RVs were parked along the street, which seemed very odd, and cars that looked to be abandoned, this was definitely different than Carroll Gardens. Then, out of nowhere, there was the Zoo, and a little farther we stumbled upon a home from one of the founding families of Brooklyn, the Lefferts Historic Home.
Meant to be a children's museum, the 200 year old home was moved six blocks from it's original location about 100 years ago, to the spot it sits today. An 18th century farmhouse, it is a great example of Dutch family life in the 17 and 1800s. It was remarkable to see something from before Brooklyn was the city it is today. The downstairs was turned into a museum, more geared towards children, and very basic, but still interesting. We really wished the upstair had been open to us, but understandably, the structure is probably very fragile. More info on the home here.
Entering the park on the south end, with a map we received from the volunteers at the Leffert home., we were on a mission to find the water. We'd heard how beautiful the 'lakes and ponds' were in the park, and we had no idea what we'd find.
Following the path on our map, we quickly found the Boathouse, and it was like something out of a movie! Of course, someone was hosting a wedding reception inside. If I do say so myself, this is the most adorable and lovely place to EVER host a wedding and reception. The swans in the pond, the stillness of the water with people laying in the lawns playing their ukuleles (not even kidding, hipster kids playing ukuleles were actually there on a blanket with swans nearby!), the sun coming through the trees, and the lights along the water. It is perfect.
After setting up my camera on a ledge and taking some photos with the remote (first picture of this post ^^^), we crossed the bridge and wandered through some trails. At the end of one trail, we found a little wooden seating area off a smaller pond, with a man and his guitar and amp being overshadowed by some teens playing rap music on their speakers of their cell phone. Made me giggle but sad for the old man just wanting to play his guitar. I think we had heard his music from afar before we got down there, when we first walked up to the boathouse, I remember hearing acoustic music but not seeing it. Then those kids probably busted in, and started playing TI, or something. Oh kids these days ha.
We eventually found another spot to sit and relax in the south end of the park, watching a large group of what I think were West African and Haitian men playing soccer in a large field. It was hard to decipher their accents, and comical when they'd instinctively talk to their teammates in their native language, and the other team would yell "English! Only English" to make sure everyone could understand what they were saying.
There was something so wonderful about being surrounded with languages you won't understand in a city. Whether it was walking through Chinatown, Brooklyn, the parks, everywhere we went, there was someone talking that I couldn't understand what they were saying. I really want to live in a place with such diversity that I see people in different walks of life than what I'm used to. Aside from when I first moved to the south, and I couldn't understand even English because of the thick southern drawls, this was a breathe of fresh air.
I'm looking forward to the next time we visit the city. Next time, I have another long list of museums and places to visit. That's the great thing about New York City, there is always something to discover.
Have you ever been to NYC? What's your favorite thing there?!