Back in the park. Color coming out in the trees – pink and yellow blossoms, startling red and orange fringes where the buds are coming out. Behind me some unfortunate welfare recipients are earning their two hundred a month plus food stamps or whatever it is by picking up trash and putting it into plastic bags. Big black women mostly, fed on a junk food diet, wearing bandanas, baseball caps over their heads, leather jackets and leather purses and jeans with spangles on the pockets.
Ghetto fabulous, the low-rent version. Nice enough though, apologizing for disturbing while I was writing at the table because they had to stab at the potato chip bags and other refuse some cretins threw on the grass, stopping to give directions to some lady pushing a baby carriage and trailing two small kids, pointing with their sticks and debating amongst themselves – four of them got involved at one point – about the best way to go in that way New Yorkers do.
Prospect Park has to be one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever seen. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park, Mont Royal in Montreal and some big park in Chicago. The man knew his stuff. In Prospect Park, you really feel the change in landscape – open green, bridges over rivers, small ponds where herons, ducks, and even eagles gather depending on the season. Horses traipse through the park, carrying either mounted police, or somebody who has rented one for an hour or two from one of the stables, while in the mornings you see odd things like a couple dozen kids going through a judo class underneath one of the big trees, or twelve people, black and white and obviously American, in a circle, going through the motions of Falun Dong. Olmstead thought of everything, even the heavily wooded area with the fountain in the middle where the gay men gather – I wonder if he thought of that back when he designed it? Down by the boathouse, there is a small garden where the kids can go up and look at different insects and butterflies, and in front that a little pond. In the mornings you can walk through one of the paths that wind through the wooded areas and imagine for a few moments you are in the country somewhere instead of the middle of Brooklyn.