Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn in the 1960s’

Where the hippies hung out in Prospect Park

May 22, 2010

Back in the late 1960s, long-haired, Dylan-loving Brooklyn kids gathered at a place they called Hippie Hill, described as “a long grassy knoll just up from the Totem Poles,” in a 2008 Daily News column by Denis Hamill.

The “Totem Poles,” below, are Stanford White-designed Grecian columns marking the entrance to the park near the 15th Street subway station.

“On some summer nights in the late ’60s, the crowds would exceed a thousand, young wanna-be troubadours strumming guitars and singing Dylan tunes, which was an instant hippie chick magnet,” writes Hamill.

“Eight-track tape decks boiled with angry Dylan songs. Even returning Vietnam┬áveterans joined the scene, love beads dangling with their dog tags on Hippie Hill, where Dylan provided the soundtrack for our war-torn generation.”

When Steeplechase Park thrilled Coney Island

May 18, 2010

From 1897 to 1964, Steeplechase Park blew away the seaside crowds.

Twenty-five cents got you admission to the park’s 25 rides, including the ferris wheel, steeplechase race, “trip to the moon,” and later, the parachute jump.

Added to the park in 1939 by legendary founder George Tilyou, the parachute jump is the only remnant of Steeplechase that still exists. Today, the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league stadium occupies the site.

It could have been worse. Donald Trump’s father bought the dilapidated park in the 1960s intending to raze it and build high-rises.

Unable to change the zoning, he knocked it down and then sold the land to the city.

The above 1898 painting, expansive and enchanting, is part of the collection at the Museum of the City of New York. So who painted it? It’s a mystery:

“The artist McKay (his first name is uncertain) was probably employed as a scenic painter at Steeplechase Park sometime between 1898 and 1906,” states Painting the Town: Cityscapes of New York. “Nothing further is known about him.”