Bath Beach Park, also known as Bath Beach Playground, is a utilitarian space at the seaside edge of Brooklyn's quiet Bath Beach neighborhood. A walkway through the park ending at a curved wall is named for Joseph L. Pezzuto, a local community activist who had a major hand in the livelihood of this park and the whole Bath Beach neighborhood through a big chunk of the 20th century.
Atop the wall is a raised platform with benches.
Visiting on a warm weekday afternoon in early summer, I encountered a whole lot of not very much, just a scattering of children and their caretakers. From some angles it was easy to imagine I was in an episode of Life After People. The dusty softball field looked like a desert, the bocce courts and chess tables just as empty.
It was only the middle of the afternoon, so there wasn't too much going on in the playground itself either.
But at the back of the playground a strange gate beckoned. Why was it open? Where did the path lead?
I had to investigate, so, keeping an eye out for poison ivy and goblins, I followed the trail around the corner of the playground…
…and to the end. Where I found, not to my surprise, nothing.
Behind the handball courts is another unused grassy area. It all seemed to add up to something strange about Bath Beach Park. In college at NYU, Joseph L. Pezzuto was a member of the Rho Epsilon real estate fraternity – did you know there was a real estate fraternity? I sure didn't – but he died in 1999, so I can't ask him about Bath Beach Park's weird extraneous real estate.
Just across Shore Parkway a pedestrian bridge leads to the long bike path running alongside the Belt Parkway and the edge of Gravesend Bay, the Shore Parkway Greenway.
Looking west you can see the Verrazano Bridge, which upon its completion in 1964 became the longest suspension bridge in the world, a distinction it held for some time. In that great age of accomplishment, the U.S. could boast many firsts, bests, and biggests.
This pair made a nice silhouette against the span.