Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coney Island and the Kings Co. Lunatic Asylum

A drive out of Brooklyn.

Yesterday afternoon, we took an excursion to the Camp Ground, at Flatbush, where the officers of our Brooklyn military corps have stationed themselves of late with laudable intentions of professional practice. We also went to the Kings co. Lunatic Asylum ; also to Coney Island, all along shore, roundabout, and back again to Brooklyn. The afternoon seemed just the one for a drive. The air was cool, and yet not cold. Dust, to be sure, covered the roads, and dashed in our faces--but then, a person can't expect to have perfection in every thing....

Despite the fact that a war was going on, they found the Flatbush encampment "an inspiring and gay spectacle." The Lunatic Asylum, meanwhile, was "a sad spectacle." ((I can't feel too sorry for them, as they're the ones who chose to go sightseeing by visiting lunatics.))

From the Lunatic Asylum we drove to Coney Island, through that beautiful road and range of farms that characterize this part of Long Island. How refreshing was the scent of clover fields for miles ere we reached the shore ! How grand, too, the rolling scope of the ocean, whose waves dash into the sand-hills there ! We drove some distance on that hard, clean level sand, snuffing up the air with such delight as a man feels, who rarely gets away from the purlicus of the crowded city.--The phantom shapes of vessels, with full-bellied sails, saw we in the distance, moving along like children of the mist. There, too, were the white plumes of many a mighty ripple--ere it threw its long shallow scoot high up on the shore. Nor was the scene wanting in solemnity. How can human eyes gaze on the truest emblem of Eternity, without an awe and a thrill?

--Brooklyn Eagle, Thursday, June 18, 1846

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