Saturday, October 17, 2015

Park and Gardens

Today was another relatively light day, time to get some laundry done, etc.

Brooklyn’s 585-acre Prospect Park, created in 1867, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert B. Vaux. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has many features including “Long Meadow” which is the largest stretch of unbroken meadow in any urban park in America. I’ve felt a bit of withdrawal from the fall colors of New England, but Prospect Park brought me back into that mindset. You might enjoy these 25 Little-Known Facts About Olmsted & Vaux's Masterpiece.

At the north end of Prospect Park is Grand Army Plaza with Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch (1892), dedicated "To the Defenders of the Union, 1861-1865" and the Brooklyn Public Library.

The adjacent Brooklyn Botanic Garden was created in 1897, with original site layout by the Olmsted Brothers (two sons of Frederick Law Olmsted), and later landscaped by Harold Capam. He conceived a collection of 13 eclectic gardens connected by winding paths. There’s a Native Flora Garden, a Rose Garden, the Cherry Esplanade, a Shakespeare Garden, and more.

The Fragrance Garden, created in 1955, “was the first garden in the country specifically designed for the visually impaired.” It includes braille signs, and you are encouraged to touch the plants and smell.

When the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden opened in 1915, it was “the first Japanese-inspired garden within an American public garden. Considered a masterpiece of landscape designer Takeo Shiota, it offers harmonious views from every angle and beauty in all seasons.”

There's a sundial with the inscription "Serene I stand amyddst ye flowres to tell ye passing of ye howres."

We had take-out dinner from John Brown Smokehouse, a Kansas-City style barbecue place near our hotel. It was delicious but very messy and a bit too peppery at times. The corn bread was unique: a kind of bread pudding almost, with solid kernels of corn in it. Quite yummy.

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