I admit: I have a love-hate relationship with the Prospect Expressway. I know Sufjan Stevens already got dibs on the BQE, but I would be more than happy cursing and praising the Expressway while I’m hula hooping in the South Slope.
The majority of my hate (or serious dislike, since we’re all about the love here) stems from living next to the Expressway three stories up from the traffic below. Its lovely dim roar was a kind of post-apocalyptic urban lullaby from which I could never escape. It also afforded beautiful views of Manhattan and the Empire State Building… as long as you could drown out the noise.
On the flip side, because the city knew what a grand gesture it was to split the South Slope up with a massive highway in the 1950′s, they planted a beautiful series of parks which line the Expressway with benches and picnic tables and trees and dog runs and small community gardens. Whew.
And lots of nice walking paths. I love them especially.
Check out a map here to see how these 15 small parks are laid out. And do yourself a favor next time you’re in the neighborhood — Take a walk, even if it’s nighttime!
[ed. note - Thanks to the fine folks at Brownstoner for featuring this shot. I learned from one of the commenters that the dog run along this stretch of the Expressway is unofficial, but there is a petition out to get it recognized by the city. If you're so inclined, sign it here!]