I always sit in a window seat on airplanes. I flew out of JFK a week and a half ago, and as usual we took off flying west over the southern edge of Brooklyn. While I was looking, I suddenly I realized that I might see Marine Park, the subject of my last journal entry, so I quickly rummaged for my camera. And indeed I did! Though the prevalence of Google satellite imagery has made the birds-eye view of places mundane, I am still amazed to see for myself how things look from above, and in this case how a seemingly vast haven of green (a 798 acre nature preserve, no less) can look so hemmed in, enveloped by a sea of city blocks.
I am now remembering something the Urban Park Ranger told us which I forgot to include in my last entry. While we were on our walk, someone asked what an array of buoys out in the middle of Gerritsen Creek was for. Our ranger answered nonchalantly, “Oh, those are for the illegal jet ski activity.”
“To keep them out?”
“No, the skiers set them up as a course to ride through.”
“Well, we used to be really strict about cracking down on that kind of activity, but that made them mad so they set fire to the park.”
“So, we’ve realized we’ve got to be realistic about recognizing the needs of our neighbors.”
In the above photograph, you can see the little mile-long path that we walked, which makes up the part of the park accessible to people. The reeds give the area a distinct reddish color. The park extends to the south, off the bottom of the picture, and most of its nearly 800 acres are only accessible to wildlife (and, well, perhaps jet skiers). The green area to the right (east) is the neighboring golf course, and to the north, across the street, are ballfields positioned in a funny pattern that kind of looks like it could be a cross section of part of a plant.