First: The Prospect Park Carousel, surely the world's most utterly perfect (here's why), re-opens Saturday, March 31 from 12 noon to 4 pm, and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. (After April 1, it's open Thursdays – Sundays and school holidays, 12 to 5 p.m.; rides are $2 each or $9 for a book of five tickets, and if you only joined the Prospect Park Alliance for the unlimited free rides, that would be reason enough.) The 1912 masterpiece of legendary carousel designer Charles Carmel, it dwelt in Coney Island from 1912 to 1952, and the Alliance restored its delights in 1990. Note: It has a real Wurl band organ, not cheezy piped-in Muzak!
GUEST PARK ALERT:
NEW CAROUSEL OF MIND-BENDING AWESOMENESS
PLANNED FOR BATTERY PARK
This has come to my attention: "Sea Glass," an aquatic fantasy-themed carousel unlike anything in the known universe, is scheduled to open in Battery Park this fall. Yes, I love every sacred, carnival-esque gaudy detail of traditional carousels, but this new take looks brilliant. Evoking the long-ago aquarium at Castle Clinton on Manhattan's tip (and perhaps even linked to the current Coney Island Aquarium by a ferry), the new herd will consist of translucent, glowing angelfish and seahorses, turning dreamily inside a chambered nautilus with trippy projections of marine life. Engineering marvels abound, as described here. The animated rendering below, Debussy and all, brought tears to my eyes. Plus, if you have lots of money, you can sponsor a fish, which I would totally do if I were rich. Can you tell I am just a little excited about this?
Finally, here's a great wrap-up of all the carousels, operating, planned, and under renovation, in the city. How cool would it be to have a marathon that connected all of them and demanded that runners ride each one before continuing onward! I was shocked to note that there are some I have not yet ridden, a deficit I plan to remedy shortly. I am also reminded of how grateful I am that, despite suffering from embarrassing vertigo, I can still ride carousels without triggering it. Get spinning!