Friday, October 25, 2013

Backwards Day

150 years ago the important people of Brooklyn were getting tired of people recreating in Green-Wood Cemetery.
"BEFORE THERE was a Central Park and a Prospect Park, people came to GreenWood," said William J. Ward. Green-Wood is not a park, it is not a playground and it is not a rural outpost; it is a cemetery in southwest Brooklyn. But there is no mystery as to why it was once popular for Sunday outings--Green-Wood is as lush a landscape as exists anywhere in the built-up boroughs of New York.   Really
So they build Prospect Park.
Greenwood Cemetery was commissioned in 1838 as the first nonsectarian cemetery in the City of Brooklyn. Its striking Victorian gatehouses and shelters, contemplative winding paths, reflecting lakes, and a majestic view of New York harbor from its heights, drew thousands onto the grounds of the cemetery for walks or picnics. Greenwood’s immediate popularity, not only for burials, but as one of Brooklyn’s first large public spaces, demonstrated to city planners the importance of open, green spaces within the burgeoning metropolis. The cemetery remained the largest green space in Brooklyn until the opening of Prospect Park in 1866.  Say's the NYC Parks Dept 

But today Prospect Park, the place that was build for us to recreate was closed.  Well it was supposed to be totally closed, but as it turned out it was partially closed.  Not really closed.  Closed would mean that nobody could go in.  It was open today.  Open for one person and his entourage.  The President of the United States, Barack Obama.  He needed a place to land his helicopters so he could visit a high school in Crown Heights.

So the nice people who are in charge of Green-Wood announced that they would suspend their rules and let us run there.

Jogging, Biking and other recreational activities are prohibited.  

(at a red light, how can you tell a jogger from a runner?  A jogger jumps up and down and a runner stands there and looks pissed.)

I am not a jogger, but these rules make sense.  This is a cemetery not a park.

But today we were allowed to play.

We were actually very respectful.  As we entered the gates we all said that if we saw a burial, a mourner or even a sad person we would stop running a walk.  But we did not see any of that.  We saw a few other runners joggers, a lot of tourists and a bunch of reporters.

We also stayed on the roads.  He is a map of our run

The reporters actually waived us down.  First the New York Post.

I assume we will be on tomorrows cover.  Something about desecrating graves.  But I will link to the actually story when it goes online.

Holy shit I was wright! Not on the cover but. they did find a mourner who was pissed.  Here is the digital version.  24 joggers in a 6 hour period and The NY Post used the word "Stormed".

Do we look like "Runners stormed Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery on Friday, zipping past mourners holding flowers as the famous graveyard scrapped its no-jogging rule to accommodate President Obama’s Prospect Park takeover...... About two dozen joggers bounced alongside tombstones, thrilled to work out for the first time inside the historic landmark — but mourners were not as happy to share the space with the sweaty adrenaline junkies."   We were there an hour and did not see a mourner.

The online headline is Shock as cemetery allows runners after Obama visit closes park

Then Channel 2 TV.  The had us run in a big circle so they could get some film.  That, too, you will see when I get a link.

But I can see why people came here to picnic.

Given more time, I could have take a lot of photos.  Some day I will.  Boss Tweed's grave is near Leonard Bernstein's.  There are also over 5,000 Civil War Vets, some of them Confederate..  Yea, and the whole thing was build on a Revolutionary War Battle Field.

1 comment:

  1. Only the Post. Richard Moylan has done so much to make Green-Wood a good neighbor. Time was you had to say which permanent resident you were visiting to even walk in.


You do not have to be nice!


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