Posted by Richard Kirschner
on Tuesday, January 19th 2021:
I'm Irish and in 1990 I won a Green Card to go live in the USA. Fresh out of college with a degree in forestry I was a fish out of water and wound up living in Manhattan. The relentless noise 24/7 was driving me mad, so I came over the Bridge and wound up on Grand Army Plaza. Walking into Prospect Park I could not believe what I was seeing- this rolling meadow with wonderful forest, and I knew it was as close to home as I was going to get in NYC.
I found a studio on Sterling Place, and each evening after work I would sit in Prospect Park enjoying the views and greenery. Saturday mornings a decent hazelnut coffee, an almond croissant or a bagel and cream cheese and a New York Times and I was in heaven. At night you could watch the string of aircraft lights as they lined up for La Guardia using the Park as a marker.
To me that park was an oasis of tranquility. I got to know it intimately, and loved the towering tulip poplars in the Vale of Cashmere. America has a most diverse collection of trees and I loved finding sassafras, black and red and pin oaks, mulberries and multiple other trees that we don't have in Ireland. One day I was gorging myself on mulberry berries, to the horror of park locals, until I explained what they were. I remember a gingko tree near the mulberry, and an old Chinese lady who was suspicious of me being in the vicinity of "her "tree....she was collecting gingko nuts, and when she realized it was the mulberries I was interested in, she was clearly relieved.
Fall was spectacular-with glorious maples and oaks, reds, yellows and oranges of varying intensities. Friends Cemetery was a wonderful place to visit too....great memories of a spectacular park, which I think is head and shoulders above Central Park, Olmstead and Vaux saying that they rectified their Central Park mistakes when they designed Prospect Park.
Reference ID: BK96612