Hello from New York City (7) - Brooklyn's Prospect Park and Manhattan's Washington Square Park
Yesterday was our last day in New York City and our flight left at 7:57 pm, so we figured we'd store our luggage at the B&B for a few hours and head out one more time for one more round of urban exploration.
Well, one area we hadn't seen much yet was Brooklyn (other than Coney Island which we explored on Friday). We really liked Brooklyn, formerly a sleepy suburban area, which has has nicely matured into one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in New York City, no wonder, thanks to its stately architecture, multicultural shopping areas and green mature trees in many areas.
Our beloved Q train got us to Prospect Park, another masterpiece by landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead, although this exhibit is a lot wilder and more natural than its Central Park counterpart. Although the day was a bit on the cool side, there were tons of people jogging, biking, walking and Prospect Park, just like its big cousin in Manhattan, has big fields with multiple baseball diamonds and soccer fields. The action was in full swing and we caught a live performance by a Mexican mariachi band, fronted by a young girl who was literally singing her heart out.
At the north end of Prospect Park is Grand Army Plaza, which is dominated by a massive Civil War memorial arch. Across from the arch is the Brooklyn Public Library, opened in 1941 in a late Art Deco style, and now blocked off for some renovations. Just around the corner is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and the monumental Brooklyn Museum of Art.
But we had no time to explore these areas further, we only had a less than a couple of hours left before we had to pick up our luggage to head to the airport. Off we went and hopped onto another subway to head towards Washington Square Park, one area that I had definitely wanted to see.
It was a little quiet there on this cloudy and cool day and the Washington Arch, compared to other monuments, seemed a little diminuitive. We had a quick pizza in one of the cheap student eateries around New York University and got back to the subway. However, we realized we were on the wrong platform (for northbound trains), so we headed back out the subway to reenter on the correct side.
Guess what - our metro transit card didn't let us back in! The display said "Just used" and there was no way we could get back in at a different entrance at the same subway station. I guess that's a built-in mechanism to safeguard against 2 people using the same transit card. So we had to trekk about 20 minutes south to Prince Street and use our metro card there. Our $24 transit pass got major use over the last 4.5 days and when we go to NYC again, we'll definitely pick up another transit pass. Well, at least we won't make the same mistake again to swipe the card and then exit the subway station...
Just after 2:30 pm we picked up our luggage at the B&B and spent the next 2 hours discovering a new subway line (the N line) which we caught all the way to Astoria Boulevard, where we picked up the M60 bus to get to LaGuardia airport. It took us a couple of hours, but it was great to get one last ride through the New York City neighbourhoods.
After being thoroughly searched, patted down, having my shoes x-rayed and otherwise being inspected, we finally got on our American Airlines ride back home to Toronto and saw one last vista at dusk of the City that never sleeps.
We will return...
Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions. Travel and Transitions deals with travel to foreign countries and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. Life is a Journey – Explore New Horizons. The whole story with photos is published at Travel and Transitions - Travel Stories and Photos
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By Susanne Pacher