Our first themed walk has us checking out two of New York's "other" Botanic Gardens during Cherry Blossom season. Cutting through Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights brings us to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens early in the day. We don't rest on our laurels for long, heading up to Queens via MIddle Village and Rego Park to check out the Queens Botanic Garden. This walk is also an opportunity to get our first proper looks at Flushing Meadows and Forrest Parks, with paths that hug Meadow Lake and Willow Lake. We've left a mile off the drawn route to account for daily wandering in the gardens.
We stay in Brooklyn this week to continue our survey walks of the area, dipping to the southeast to cover such neighborhoods as Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton and Gravesend. The trip up takes us through Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Brownsville, grazing Greenwood Cemetery and Prospect Park along the way.
Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted literally shaped the landscape of New York, with an influence that touches millions of lives every day. On this walk we take a day to visit experience nearly all of their local contributions, starting at Morningside Park and hanging a right to take in Riverside. Cutting through the lower half of Central Park, we take the Manhattan Bridge over to Fort Greene Park and head for a ramble through Prospect Park. We come out the other side to take a long stroll down the Olmstead designed Ocean Parkway, then up the Prospect Park again before concluding the day on another Olmstead route, Eastern Parkway. Excluded in this walk due to distance is the previously visited Forest Park in Queens.
This high-level sweep of North Brooklyn takes us around the edges of Bushwick, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Red Hook. We do an about face in Sunset Park and head up 5th Avenue through Park Slope. After briefly touching the tip of Fort Greene, we meander through Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights before heading home.