42 life-saving devices in Prospect Park

I rarely hide my disdain for websites like Buzzfeed, which aim to go viral by pumping out vague lists with images culled from other sources. (As a result, I love the Tumblr site Buzzfeed Articles Without The GIFs, which shows just how mindless these posts are.)

In that spirit, and timed to coincide with the arrival of Hercules, I present the carefully curated 42 life-saving devices in Prospect Park, an alternative way of looking at Prospect Park’s beautiful waterfronts. As far as I can tell, this is the number of “ice rescue ladders” dotting the lakeside area, in case somebody decides to skip the line at the new LeFrak Center.

Here’s your map. Now, let’s take a tour of the lowest points in the park, in no particular order!

Prospect Park ice ladders map

Some background: I took these photos – with one exception – after my running tour of the new Lakeside on the warm winter solstice. The ice was melting, but a humongous flock of birds was still hanging out in the center of the Lake.

#28 is gorgeous, looking over the Audubon Center.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #7Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #14Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #21Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #28

With #42, we take our first jaunt to the far-removed ladders, a set of five (#38-#42) around the Upper Pool and Lower Pool northwest of the main Lake. This includes the area with Dog Beach and the artificial forest waterfall.

In #8, you can see some of the distant flocks of birds; #16 has a few up close.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #35Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #42Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #8Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #16

#24 is lost in the woods, just north of the beautiful Terrace Bridge, upon which Wellhouse Drive runs. The second one is #32; #40 is the northernmost ladder in the park.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #24Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #32Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #40Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #6

#26 is on a tight stretch of unmarked path north of Wellhouse Drive. It was difficult to get a head-on shot! The LeFrak Center is in the background of #36.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #17Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #26Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #36Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #3

#13 is in a popular retreat area, at the end of a long path near the southwest corner of the Park. A pair of older ladies conversed in Russian as I snapped that photo. #37 is in the Lakeside area.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #13Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #25Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #37Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #5

#31 is in a great spot: right across the way from the Audubon Center. #2 is right near where the food trucks park at LeFrak. #18 was perilously close to falling off!

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #19Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #31Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #2Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #18

The first one is #33; for some reason, its sign was flipped backwards. #9 is in the middle of a mud pit on the south side of the lake. #23 might have the best view of them all. And #41, like #40, is in front of a fenced-off area in which no one has any right or reason to go.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #33Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #9Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #23Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #41

Disaster! Take a look at #4. Someone could dig it out, if needed, but that’s going to be one cold ladder.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #20Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #39Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #22Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #4

Ok. Maybe #30 has a better view than #23. Or maybe #15, which was surrounded by swans (including one that had gone terrestrial). What do you think?

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #30Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #15Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #11Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #10

The original missing piece to this puzzle was #28A, which I assume should be #29. I couldn’t find it on my first attempt. I found it on New Year’s Day, after asking a maintenance guy if he had a map of the ice ladders (he didn’t) and tweeting about my problem. It’s located far from any real water, near a tiny inlet right next to Center Drive.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #12Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #29

And now we reach #1, which is a special “screw you” to Robert Moses (I’d like to think, anyway). It marks the location of the LeFrak’s predecessor, Wollman Rink. Moses rammed that one through, as per uszhe, destroying much of the ambience of the waterfront.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #1Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #27

We reach our end with two obscured numbers: #34 and #38. The latter (pun?) is at the Dog Beach, and I had to ask two intrepid canine-handlers to move so that I could snap the pic.

Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #34Prospect Park Lake ice ladder #38

I can only imagine how weird those two women thought I was, asking to take a picture of a ladder. But that’s just part of my charm, isn’t it?

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2 Responses to 42 life-saving devices in Prospect Park

  1. MBFlynn says:

    Have you ever seen William Merritt Chase’s paintings of Prospect Park, including what has to have been the original bronze planters at the south end of the Park?

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