B, Q, S at Prospect Park; Q at Parkside Ave.; F at 15th St.-Prospect Park; 2, 3 at Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum
Architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s post-Central Park greensward seduces seven million visitors annually with its manifold, verdant charms: from the country’s longest open park meadow, to the ancient trees in Brooklyn’s only extant forest, to the sinuous watercourse with three burbling falls and the 60-acre lake floating with swans, ducks, and paddleboats for rent. It’s almost possible to map the world by what goes on in the park: there’s tai chi in one valley; African drummers near Parkside and Ocean; gospel music in the Pavilion; squadrons of kids playing softball and soccer on the fields; Caribbean kite-flyers in the Long Meadow; and ferocious soccer and volleyball matches, sustained by Latin-tinged barbeque, seemingly at every turn. And that’s even before the concerts, fireworks, movies, and myriad park-sponsored events get underway during the summer. Unlike that other famous park across the East River, where towering buildings and glimmering lights are always within sight, it’s easy to deny the city altogether in Prospect Park. On winter nights especially, the meadows glow vast and Arctic in the moon and lamplight, ripe for the schussing strides of cross-country skiers. Of course, civic-minded entertainments still abound, among them the Prospect Park Audobon Center, the Carousel, and Lefferts Historic House which was built when Brooklyn was still primarily farmland.The Dead Zone
The Quaker cemetery predates the Park by nearly 50 years. Montgomery Clift is buried within its gates which occasionally open to hikers.
Tours of the Park—guided, independent, by trolley, and by electric boat—are offered through the Prospect Park Alliance and the Audubon Center at the Boathouse.
The 4,000-square-foot glass-and-brick enclosed pavilion features a wood fireplace, new hardwood floors, and elegant French doors leading out to a rear balcony. It’s available in eight-hour blocks (five for event, three for setup) and hosts up to 175. Catering is additional and limited to a list of vendors.