Brooklyn's Backyard: The Boathouse

You all know just how much I love to travel, but its also great to be home in Brooklyn. I'm fortunate enough to live just a few blocks from Brooklyn's backyard, Prospect Park.


A few weeks ago, Mr. L and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and took a stroll into the park. Our first stop was one of my favorite spots in the borough, the Boathouse. Built in 1905, it was modeled after a Venetian library. At some point in the 1960s it was slated for demolition until community protesters saved it at the last minute.


The building was restored and transformed into an Audubon Center in 2002. Its such a beautiful spot - even when the park is crowded (as it was on this day) this area feels tranquil.


Sadly, we arrived way before it opened so I couldn't photograph the beautiful details on the inside. Specifically the the guastavino tiled ceilings festooned with bird mobiles - just dreamy.
I'll just have to go back another day to photograph that.

So tell me: where is your favorite place in your hometown? (I'm always looking for new places to add to my must visit list!)

{--- If you'd like to see a little more of my fine borough, click here to see my earlier Brooklyn posts. If you are planning your first visit to the borough, download my free 1 day pocket guide to Brooklyn. And lastly you can always purchase prints of my favorite photographs. ---}


  1. How pretty. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh, that's delightful! My favorite spot in Virginia beach is definitely the Botanical Gardens. It is unofficially divided into two section - planned garden and woodlands. The children's area has a splash-pad that my daughter adores while my husband and I prefer the English Garden. I thin, in fact, you may have just inspired today's post on Never a Plain Jane.

  3. What a gorgeous bridge!

    My favorite spot these days is the open fields in our area with blooming wildflowers in red, purple & white. I headed out on Saturday nice and early to get some photos.

    PS. I downloaded your Brooklyn Guide when we visited NYC in April. It was very handy! We walked across the bridge and hit Jacques Torres' place on the other side before getting some pizza!

  4. this is so awesome- thank you! we'll be in NYC in sept so will definitely visit brooklyn now!
    cheers nicola (south africa)

  5. Belle Isle in Detroit! It is a small isle off of Detroit and has some stunning views of the city and beautiful site seeing. Also, Henry Fords home in Dearborn, MI. I can't tell you how many times I take pictures there!

  6. The last photo showing the reflection of the bridge in the water is outstanding! In my town I love Washington Park, just up the hill from downtown Portland. It is amazing such an expanse of woods and gardens can be so close to the center of a city!

    Looking forward to photos from your last trip! Janell

  7. Beautiful! I'd love to visit the Boathouse sometime. I recognize it from several movie sets, but your photos do it more justice than the big screen!

  8. Who knew Brooklyn could we so pastoral. My memories of Brooklyn are centered on an adorable street of brownstones and a red-doored fire house in the middle of the block. My favorite place in Lancaster County is the five-mile walk over two covered bridges that is my neighborhood. For a visual visit see:

  9. That boat house is so pretty - and oddly familiar, too. I think I saw it on both "Ugly Betty" and "Sex and the City". My favorite spot is Jamaica Pond, a pretty oasis in the city that I drive past every day on my way to work. There's a jogging path all the way around, and it's always bustling with people enjoying the nice weather.

  10. One of my favorite places to see is the Henry Mercer house -Fonthill- in Doylestown, PA. There is also the Moravian Tile Works which Mercer started and the Mercer Museum of 18th and 19th century artifacts.
    Here is a link with a few pictures, but it doesn't do it justice:

  11. Based on how SATC depicts Brooklyn as some kind of jail sentence, I hightly doubt it was featured on that show. I don't watch Ugly Betty so Im not sure about that. Ive never seen the Prospect Park boathouse in a movie or tv show. Maybe you mean Central Park's boathouse?

  12. You always have such lovely photos, makes me want to visit ASAP!

  13. beautiful pictures!

  14. Beautiful - some day I may be able to travel to the States and your photos makes me want it even more. :-)

  15. I also thought of the SATC scene where Carrie meets Mr. Big at the Boathouse and falls in the water. But pretty sure that would have been the boathouse in Central Park.

    At any rate, THIS boathouse is gorgeous and I am in love with the photo of the beautiful bridge. How lucky you are to have this park in your borough.

    If you were visiting my neck of the woods, I would direct you to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. I'm sure you would get some beautiful pictures there.

  16. I can't imagine them ever wanting to take it down! Good thing they didn't~ it's beautiful.

  17. Wave Hill in the Bronx is where its at. Get thee to the Hill!!!

  18. It would have been shameful to have torn down that gorgeous building. Things like that just aren't built anymore. Such a peaceful and serene place to visit.

  19. New to your blog... suddenly addicted to your past projects links! Thanks for sharing...

    My sister lives directly across the street from Prospect Park, what a divine place. The little zoo, the botanical garden... beautiful!

  20. Patricia7:48 PM

    The last photo of the bridge, the reflection, the symmetry, that beautiful faded aqua/turquoise, the intricate fine detailing of the bridge.
    Oh it so so beautiful. I just love it.

  21. i think my favorite place in Seattle is a toss up between Olympic Sculpture Garden (you can see the Olympics and Puget Sound with big art-sy sculptures) or Volunteer Park with its beautiful greenhouse and art deco Asian Art Museum.

    Glad you enjoyed you day at the park!

  22. For about a year I lived and breathed that building as part of Audubon's fundraising team. I took several prospective donors to the visit the site while still under construction and picked most of their jaws up off the floor as they marveled at the huge restoration that was undertaken to return it to its former glory. One of them later awarded a grant for one million dollars, and every penny was well deserved.

    What I really admired about the project was the Park's unwavering comittment to keep this a vibrant public space, rather than turn it into a cash cow by making it a catering facility (though it does host weddings/parties in off hours) or trendy restaurant enjoyed by a lucky few.

    I swear that Prospect Park team didn't sleep for a week prior to the opening, and every drop of blood, sweat, and tears showed.


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