Shaking off the torpor of this endless winter, I tagged along with Kevin Walsh yesterday on his 77th "Forgotten New York" walking tour; when Kevin does my park, I've got to be there to kibbitz and learn something new. We began at Grand Army Plaza, where the cherry blossoms frame the Quadriga if you look just right. I thought "Quadriga" meant something about the shape of the monument; Kevin said it's the type of chariot. That's why he wrote the book.
We emerged from the Meadowport Arch to the vast expanse of the Long Meadow--the longest unbroken greensward in New York City, which I had not known. (Kevin, however, learned from me that the official shepherd of the meadow's Victorian-era flock of sheep was criticized in the New York Times for drunkenness.)
Kevin's tours are full of fascinating facts; I get distracted easily, though, by the movie montages that swirl past:
We visited the Third Street panthers...but I was drawn in by the heartbreaking memorial to this youngster killed by a car.
Further down Prospect Park West, at the Ninth Street entrance, we admired Lafayette, but I was intrigued by the fine polish on his sword, courtesy of untold numbers of fingertips.
We marveled at the Camperdown Elm...while I was thrilled to capture a Common Yellowthroat among its contorted branches.
Through the fence, we peered into the hidden Quaker Cemetery, where Montgomery Clift is buried...and I puzzled over some ambitious stick structures just outside its confines. (No one seemed to be in residence, neither earthwork artist nor homeless person nor beaver.)
Many thanks to our intrepid tour guide, who generously shares his encyclopedic knowledge of New York's mysteries with his fortunate Forgotten Fans.