So Madeline and I were reunited in Service Design for Public Space as TEAM AWESOME 2009. The class is great, but the class blog is a bit wonky at this point. For the time being, my posts that would otherwise be on that blog will live here.
At any rate, for the first team assignment we were supposed to go to a public space and observe. It reminded me of an assignment for ‘When Strangers Meet,’ so I loved it. The weather muses have been unnaturally benevolent lately, and blessed us with beautiful, tepid weather this weekend.
Maddy and I went to the Promenade here in Brooklyn, and I was so excited to get to use my new Canon 50D! The weather was fantastic (by NYC weather standards), so the hour or so we spent out there went by quickly. The both of us met there around 5-ish, and stayed till about 6, when it started to get chilly. The Promenade is my favorite place to go when the sky is clear, and the stars are out, so I figured we should give it a try during the day.
Here’s a few facts about the Promenade. The Brooklyn Promenade extends from Remsen St. to Orange St., and sits above the BQE in Brooklyn Heights. My favorite way to get there is to walk down Court St., and stroll down Montague to reach the entrance there. It’s not very long (about 1,826 feet) but it has the best view of Manhattan from Brooklyn by FAR. Public space demon Robert Moses wanted to blemish Brooklyn Heights way back in the 50’s, but the well-to-do people of the area saw to that, and erected the Promenade to stave off the BQE as far as they could. The promenade has a playground for kids on Montague, gardens that extend the entire length, and plenty of benches for you to soak in the stellar view. Naturally, it is lined with Brownstones and Mansions. I feel like if I lived in one of those places, I would be a writer and it would be beautiful.
The brick work in the Promenade is simple, and the fencing doesn’t degrade your view of the city, so there is nothing to complain about since it is so well-kept. There is a cool circular area at the far end that has an orb with the zodiac on it, and a swooping walkway back up the street.
The people that were out there the other day came from all sorts of backgrounds. There were old people, young people, and middle aged people. Plenty of kids. Some of them were very social, and others kept to themselves. A lot of people were out there with their cameras. You could overhear the chatter from all over the place about how happy they were to see the sun and have the weather be so nice. Kids roller bladed, young people jogged, and plenty of people just stood or sat in awe of the city. This is a truly special public space, and probably the best Brooklyn has to offer. Just look at the photos.