President Obama’s visit to Brooklyn was initially expected to close all of Prospect Park, until a park spokesperson clarified yesterday that only certain areas would be closed (just not specifying which ones). Obama is flying into the park to visit P-TECH today near the Crown Heights/Bedford Stuyvesant border, as CBS reports.
“They strung blue tape around the landing area and had a few rather chilly officers stationed inside the taped off area,” says reader Tom Prendergast, who sent us photos around 10:30am. “I’m sure there’ll be a larger presence as the morning goes on.”
Stopping by around 1:15pm, we noticed a ton of police activity–lots of police cruisers and traffic enforcement entering the park, and some just circling in front of the Grand Army Plaza entrance, which was still open.
By closer to 2pm, when we heard President Obama would be landing, about 200 people were waiting. An older couple standing next to us begins arguing about coming unprepared.
“She dragged me here,” the man says, pointing to his wife.
“Should have brought our camera,” she says.
“Camera?! You didn’t even let me go to the bathroom!”
Police came to guard the line at about five to 2pm, still leaving the road open to joggers and bikers. An officer says it will only close fully for a short while while the motorcade drives through.
There are rumors running through bystanders of drones over head, and undercover Secret Service members in the crowd.
Familiar faces were on hand, including Inspector Eric Rodriguez, Commanding Officer of the 70th Precinct.
Around 2:45pm, a helicopter (though not the marine ones Tom saw doing a test run the other day) hovers over the park.
Around 2:50pm, President Obama’s helicopters fly down over Coney Island Avenue…
… land in Prospect Park…
And are unloaded.
And finally, Obama waves to one adoring crowd.
Nice seeing you, Barry. Maybe stop into one of our local schools next year!