Sunday, December 25, 2011
Christmas in the Park
Quiet and beautiful in the park this morning. Not to many people there, everyone is either sleeping late or opening presents, I guess. We now open our Christmas/Chanukah/Solstice gifts Xmas eve. No longer do we have the eager little ones playing with the goodies in their Christmas Boots until at least 6 AM, when they were allowed to wake Mummy and Daddy. Now, daughter and husband go to his parents on Staten Island on Xmas Day, so we have a nice little event Xmas eve - lighting the Chanukah candles (when it's the right time of the month), dining, opening presents, telling stories - all the usual festive things. This year, we're going for Xmas Dinner in Chinatown . It's what we did on our first Christmas together, back in 1972. So I researched the Internet, looking for the "best" place, or at least one of them. Various overly cool people tell us that the best places are no longer in Chinatown, but in Queens. Queens? No thanks. We'll wander around chinatown and find a place that's just fine, thank you.
Meanwhile, in the park, there is a little ice starting to form, a nice view from Lookout Hill, beautiful trees, and some squirrel(s?) saving acorns next to the lake. This is year 2 of the blog, and I couldn't help but think of the differences between this year and last. Last year, the park was generally very dirty, with an assortment of dead animals that made us wonder about the health of the water, dirt, air, everything. Tupper Thomas, with all the good things she did, did not concern herself much with our end of the park (the end not in Park Slope, I mean.). We came upon many dead ducks, geese, some swans, other birds, fish, raccoons, turtles,even a possum, and others. The park was filthy - garbage everywhere, especially on the weekends. Unmentionable things in the Lake, charcoal around the tree roots, piles of chicken entrails by the water.....
This year, it's so much better. Trash collection is vastly improved, both by the Parks Department and by individuals - I'm not the only one who walks around with a trash bag to contain the stuff. My husband and I have become known fixtures in the park, and we talk to so many people about what's going on! There have been no dead animals by the lake, which tells me that the lake is much cleaner than it was, even with the incredible rainfall and flooding that we've had. I know that Dog Beach in Long Meadow is closed for the winter, as it is every year, with no reports of dead and sick animals. Emily Lloyd is doing a great job. She's working well with FIDO and other park volunteers, and there's a new group called something like "Wild in the Park" to help her out. There's still too much fishing line, but the improvement from last year to this is so noticeable!
Thank you, Parks Dept, Prospect Park Alliance, and individual visitors for making sure that we have a wonderful city park, and Happy Holidays to everyone.