Aside from my Greenmarket forays, I tend to avoid the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park; it is, well, grandiose, and from a distance the space can appear sterile and intimidating.
Behind those belligerent columns, however, lies a genteel corridor of villa-like garden that looks little changed since the turn of the last century.
The fanciful handles on the flower urns are entwined snakes; their serpentine heads poke out from under the salvia and canna.
For the first time, I noticed that the bases of the lamp-posts have toenails (a detail already observed, I am sure, by the intrepid lamp-post aficionado who presides over Forgotten New York).
A chorus line of joggers limbered up against the elegant stone wall.
Friends lounged with bikes under the benign gaze of the esteemed James S.T. Stranahan, who would have loved every bit of it.
Outside the wind was loud and there was a faint flow of thunder
along the Sound. All the lights were going on in West Egg now; the
electric trains, men-carrying, were plunging home through the rain from
New York. It was the hour of a profound human change, and excitement was generating on the air.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby