Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mount Prospect, High and Dry

A friend warned me about going to Mount Prospect Playground because of pushers but we went anyway. The only pushers there pushed swings. Already at 9:30 there were a few families, some joggers, and a mother with her unicycling daughter. I got in busybody mode to find out why the sprinklers & toilets weren't working (after being at the Chelsea Water Playground the day before my expectations were HIGH.) I was told the drainage system was backed up, and when the toilets flushed the sewage came up through the drains. They were hoping the plumbers would show up. A graceful cement seal, its snout broken where the pipe emerges, is one of three fountains, fountains that appeared small to me, thanks to my visit to Chelsea.

The park, a chunk of land bordered by the Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Public Library and Flatbush Avenue, ascends from the steps on Eastern Parkway to the playground, above it, a ball field which is circled by a asphalt path. At a Northern point a set of stairs sweeps up to a platform paved with wide stones which is the second highest point in Brooklyn – or so I've been told on the internet. The view is bound by trees so that you don't see beyond the slopes of the Botanic Garden where we watched a cottontail emerge from and disappear into the grass, and facing the other way, the ball field where someone seems to have arranged trash cans in goal formations, a wide platter of turf worn through in the middle revealing a small desert of yellowish dirt.

I read that there was once a reservoir on Mount Prospect, perhaps where this ball field is, back in the days when people drank local water. The top of a hill seems like an odd place for a reservoir, calling to mind various crater lakes. There's no hint of any crater now, and no hint of lake. But with the forecast looking like it does for the rest of the week, all that could change. Maybe that will mean company for the large yellow mushroom we found, in good condition except where its cap had split into radial lines, as if it wished to imitate a daisy.


Matthew said...

Brooklyn fact: Mt. Prospect was originally supposed to be part of Prospect Park, hence the park's name, but Olmsted & Vaux, with memories of the transverse roads in Central, said, not with Flatbush there cutting through.

knithound brooklyn said...

I like that park - the high ground positioning, the way the trees surround the central area. The fact that it's less populated...
never saw any pushers there.

amarilla said...

Hey Matthew, I was going to mention that, but just never got around to working it in. Anyway, you say it much better than I would have. I knew they viewed Flatbush as a divider, but I didn't realize they were sensitive to the conditions of division because of their experiences with CP. Buddha said, as soon as you've seen a division, you've erred in your thinking, that monist! But that's another topic.

Do you walk the hounds there, KB?