Obama Visit to Brooklyn Will Shut Down Prospect Park

Obama in Central Park. Close enough.

President Obama will visit a high school in Crown Heights on Friday, which for some reason means that all 585 acres of Prospect Park will be closed, Politicker reports. The President praised P-TECH—the Pathways in Technology Early College High School—during his State of the Union address. “Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job,” he said. “At schools like P-TECH in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.” At the end of the week, he will finally follow-up those remarks with an in-person visit.

The school is at 150 Albany Avenue, a few blocks walk from the Kingston-Throop avenues stop on the C—in other words, closer to Prospect Park than, say, the White House, but not remotely close enough to warrant closing the entire greenspace to visitors from 12pm-6pm, which is what will happen on Friday. (Luckily, Google recently added Street Views of the park’s footpaths to its Maps, so at least you can get your fix virtually.)

Does this suggest the president’s security is crazy? Or that perhaps he’s scheduling a not-so-secret stop at the park? Will he check in on the progress of the Lakeside rehabilitation? Will he pedal a boat in the Lake? Get special access to the Quaker Cemetery? Obama once lived in Park Slope, on 2nd Street off the park, and would jog there, so perhaps this could be a homecoming of sorts. Or an overreaction by the Secret Service.

UPDATE: “It’s probably the closest place they could put down choppers in case they need to bug out in a hurry,” a friend suggests. If that’s the case, couldn’t they just close the Nethermead? Is Obama bigger than GoogaMooga?

UPDATE: Parts of the park will be open after all.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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