Brooklyn Parks Monster Preview:
Lincoln Terrace Park and Arthur S. Somers Playground
East New York Avenue, Rochester Avenue, Eastern Parkway, Buffalo Avenue
Best All Around
There are sculpted owls on the baseball-diamond backstop posts, an enlightened approach to pigeon control. The owls have a majestic view of a football-field-size basin bordered by ivy-covered trees. Today a lone man in the distance jogs around in a circle about 5 feet in diameter; maybe he’s panicking about how much space he actually has to work with. To the east, an epic array of handball and tennis courts. I ask myself for the fourth time today, Do so many people really play handball? The only place I’ve ever seen handball happen is at Coney Island. The Arthur Somers Playground, just north of the field, is another vast space, completely covered in asphalt, but because the area is surrounded by hickory and other charismatic trees, its many benches and the comfort station have a beer garden aspect. In the playground is a walrus-size concrete smiley fountain that is probably meant to be a whale. We follow a sharp incline to a woodsy prospect with the yardarm flagpole and war memorial we’ve come to expect, a brass compass set into the circle near the flagpole, and an allée and circle of benches; from the flagpole circle we survey a series of winding paths in the woods far below. Memo: A perfect sledding spot. The historical marker says that Lincoln Park was once known by its Yiddish-speaking users as Kitzel ("tickle") Park. Great mental image of otherwise proper-looking people lining the benches, shrieking with laughter. During World War I, antiaircraft guns were hidden here. We didn’t see any of these, but we did see an empty 50-gallon plastic jug with "kerosene" printed on it; oh, and battalions of squirrels who are not afraid of owls.