Monday, October 31, 2011

New Yorkers make a slushy, cautious return to city parks closed during storm

 	Runners ventured back into Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Sunday after it reopened following Saturday’s closure of city parks based on worries over falling tree limbs.

Runners ventured back into Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Sunday after it reopened following Saturday’s closure of city parks based on worries over falling tree limbs.

It was too slushy for snow angels, but New Yorkers made a cautious return Sunday to city parks that had been closed because of danger from falling trees and branches.

In Central Park, soccer enthusiasts organized a pickup game in a muddy field, and bikers rode along the mud and ice-clogged Park Drive.

Tourists snapped pictures of themselves amid the mud, snow and fallen tree branches.

"We tried to get in last night," said Abbe Held, 52, who was walking her black labrador, Mickey.

“Today, the branches are down, but everyone is enjoying the day. We've been here for two hours. He doesn't want to leave."

Parks officials closed city parks Saturday evening after getting nearly 1,000 calls to 311 about downed trees and branches.

One woman was hospitalized after being struck by a falling branch at Central Park West and W. 61st St.

The Department of Parks & Recreation also cancelled Sunday’s planned Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff 5-miler through Central Park, but casual joggers pounded the icy, muddy pavement.

"I just went for a 20-mile run," said Stephen Kriss, 26, of the upper West Side.

"I'm running a marathon in three weeks in Philadelphia, so this is my last big run. When I first got out here, it was icy. It's starting to melt. It's just messy now. There's branches down everywhere, so that makes it interesting."

Margarita Krein, 22, of Manhattan took her infant son Martin out for his first glimpse of snow.

"It's funny — the snow and the green trees," Krein said.

"The sun's shining beautifully. The baby loves it. It's the first snow for him."

A day after Prospect Park’s annual Halloween Haunted Walk and Carnival was cancelled, costumed youngsters came to the park to throw snowballs instead.

Niovi Forbes, a Clinton Hill designer, brought her 4-year-old daughter, Zoe, clad in a princess costume.

We wanted to be festive, Forbes said. It is what it is. Today's a brand new day, and we're excited to be out.'' 

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