I clearly recall the first time I visited Prospect Park. It was about 4 months after moving to Manhattan from Oregon to attend SVA for my Masters of Fine Arts. I loved the program, but I was conflicted. I missed nature. I craved silence and space. My creativity was dwindling, and I was ready to bail. I woke up that morning and needed to get out of the city, so I jumped on the F train south to the 15th street station and stepped out into a place that I had never imagined to have ever existed in New York. I spent the day there, walking, reading, exploring, without a building in sight. I left feeling whole again. Invigorated, refreshed, and feeling like I could handle New York for a bit longer. I used the park as a reset button, visiting it once a week for the rest of my time in school.
It’s been 12 years and I’m still here. My home and my job are both a block away from Prospect park, and that’s not at all a coincidence.