UPDATED WITH PHOTOS: President uses Prospect Park as his personal hel-O-pad, gives speech, gets cheesecake

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Photo gallery

LOOKING UP: Onlookers watch President Obama land in Marine One on Long Meadow in Prospect Park.
CHOPPER COMMAND: President Obama’s helicopter makes its approach to the Long Meadow.
HEL-O-COPTER: The Commander-in-Chief eases on to the grass in Brooklyn’s Backyard.
SMOOTH RIDE: The President’s car is as long as the meadow. Well, practically.
WINDOW SEAT: President Obama rolls out of Prospect Park.
CROWN ACHIEVEMENT: President Obama touts the virtues of charter schools during a visit to Crown Heights.
CHEESE-BALL: President Obama and Democratic mayoral nominee Bill DeBlasio stop by Junior’s Restaurant during the commander-in-chief’s Oct. 25 visit to grab some cheesecake.

Update: President Obama touched down in Prospect Park, just as we predicted, in one of a pair of armored helicopters — and we have the photos.

The nation’s commander-in-chief made a noisy-but-soft landing in the Long Meadow, near the north end of Brooklyn’s backyard, where he met up with his motorcade and drove off through legions of waving onlookers. Obama stopped off at a Crown Heights high school to say a few words, then dropped by Brooklyn favorite Junior’s Restaurant with Democratic mayoral nominee Bill DeBlasio to grab some cheesecake. He bid the borough a final adieu by buzzing past this paper’s office in his Marine One chopper on his way to a Manhattan fund-raiser.

Call it O-day.

President Obama’s visit to Brooklyn will completely close Prospect Park for six hours today and this paper suspects that the commander-in-chief plans to make a dramatic entrance, touching down in a helicopter smack in the middle of Brooklyn’s backyard.

Parts of the park will be off limits from noon to 6 pm “due to security associated with the president’s visit,” according to the Prospect Park Alliance, though it did not say which parts, and, on Tuesday afternoon, five Marine Corps helicopters made an unannounced landing on the ball fields as part of a security drill. Witnesses said that the impromptu helipad was packed with cops and fire department personnel.

On Wednesday, officials said that the entire park would be closed, but they changed their tune the following days and said that only portions of the park will be closed off during Obama’s visit.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and any confusion associated with earlier messages,” said the Prospect Park Alliance, which manages the park.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Pathways in Technology Early High School in Crown Heights, which he praised in his latest State of the Union address.

He is set to arrive at John F. Kennedy airport at about 1 pm. From there, this paper believes he will board a helicopter that will plop down in Frederick Olmsted’s public playground. A park neighbor said that he’s not thrilled about the closure but worse things could happen than a president coming to commune with the youth.

“It’s a slight inconvenience, but it’s better than landing on my roof,” said Prospect Park West resident Tom Prendergast of the park closure. “In all seriousness, it’s a great honor for the students and it’s something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Obama is supposed to talk to the high schoolers about “the importance of ensuring that the next generation of middle class American workers and entrepreneurs have the skills they need to compete and win in a global economy,” according to the White House.

A short jog away, historic Green-Wood Cemetery is allowing runners and joggers to wind through its headstone-lined paths for the first time ever today, but it is asking athletes to steer clear of mourners.

“Joggers are asked to show proper respect for those who are grieving or visiting the final resting places of family members and loved ones,” the cemetery said in a press release.

The graveyard will open its gates from noon to 6 pm for one time only to accommodate trail-trotters who will be affected by the closure of Prospect Park.

Runners can enter the cemetery at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue or at 35th Street and Fourth Avenue.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

bkmanhatmoseur from brokeland says:
POTUS coming to Crown Heights to get his Hipster cred.
Oct. 24, 2013, 11:31 am
nonsense from PS says:
He should be visiting schools and praising students where the students study hard where they actually earned their grades: Mark Twain, Brooklyn Tech, 321 and many of the likes. But instead closing PP, obviously causing traffic headache for the neighborhood alol for this P Tech school? really? Nonsense!
Oct. 24, 2013, 12:09 pm
Charles from PS says:
This is a fantastic event, if true, and an honor. The president of the United States in Park Slope!!!!!!!!!
Oct. 24, 2013, 2:09 pm
ty from pps says:
Nonsense -- You're an ignorant jerk. But you probably already knew this.
Oct. 24, 2013, 2:53 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
If I was President, I'd avoid those helicopters with two big propellers on top...don't the propellers bump into each other and cause the copter to crash?
Oct. 24, 2013, 4:27 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
You bring up a very good question, Joey from Clinton Hill. In fact, these blades work much like an electric can opener; they interweave and never hit eachother. UNLESS. Unless, perhaps some other flying object-such as, let's say, a GOOSE, happens to get into the way. I hope that I've at a least shed some light on this matter. Thanks for reading.
Oct. 24, 2013, 5:12 pm
JAY from NYC says:
ummm you guys do know that the president does not usually fly on the helicopters with "two big propellers on top" The President, when using a helicopter, usually flys on a Sea King rather than the twin rotor Chinook. By the way the Chinook is the MOST successful military helicopter in history. Its been flying since 1962, with millions of hours flying. It is a wonderful machine, it can even hover over water and allow its bay to fill partially with water which allows soldiers in boats to be recovered in the water by simply driving the boat up the ramp into the bay of the helicopter. Some say its days may be ultimately numbered with the advent of the V-22 Osprey, but I think those days are a long way away, given budgets these days and that the Chinook remains a very effective flight platform.
. In the future I would like to see the President lay a wreath at the memorial monument to the Maryland 400 in Prospect Park. Not sure Obama can do that tomorrow, but hey Obama if you happen to read this and could spare a few minutes...
In any event, its a great day anytime that the President of the United States comes to my neighborhood, its absolutely terrific and very exciting. Hopefully Marty Markowitz won't embarrass us.
Oct. 24, 2013, 6:59 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh God, Jay... I forgot about Marty. He probably will have to be there, eh? I hope someone tell the president that he's leaving office in 2 months and he won't have to be shouted at the next time he visits.
Oct. 24, 2013, 7:17 pm
johnny boy from da hood says:
It's rumored Barkowitz is being appointed to the head interrogator at Guantanamo, a job he's been born to do
After 2 hours they'll all confess to killing Kennedy
Oct. 24, 2013, 11:58 pm
hiop from d8p says:
Umm ya¡!!!!!!!¡
Oct. 25, 2013, 7:20 am
ThatNYCKid from The Crown says:
Great day for Brooklyn! I don't know the last time a president has visited the borough, so if the park is closed for a few hours it's worth it.
Oct. 25, 2013, 8:41 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Will Jay-Z be there in Prospect Park to meet the President when he lands?
Oct. 25, 2013, 9:51 am
May from Brooklyn says:
Assuming Prospect Park West resident Tom Prendergast isn't MTA chair Tom Prendergast? What a coincidence.
Oct. 25, 2013, 10:42 am
johnny boy from da hood says:
Actually Jay-Z's piloting the copter and Oprah's the flight attendant .
Oct. 25, 2013, 11:01 am
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
I truly hope that these geese are not a menace to the chopper blades, no matter whom is inside. Of the things I beg today, your pardon is surely to be on this list.
Oct. 25, 2013, 11:39 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
I voted for Obama but I must say I'm irritated that he keeps trying to sweep the NSA police state actions under the rug. The news out yesterday and today is they were hacking Angela Merkel's phone and spying on the Italian government for industrial espionage. The Germans and French and Italians are hopping mad and lining up sanctions and dropping cooperative defense/intel agreements. If it keeps going NATO could unravel. And here Obama is talking about immigration and dropping into Brooklyn to visit a school. "My Pet Goat," anyone? Obama, stay out of Brooklyn until you can do your freakin' job and uphold your oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Oct. 25, 2013, 1:49 pm
jay from nyc says:
Scott, I guess you live under a rock as we have been spying on other countries since at least 1942. Oh and by the way, they do it to us as well.
The only countries we don't spy on are the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is just window-dressing public relations brew-ha-ha and not much more than that, its just politicos talking to their constitutes.
NATO is going nowhere , and just for fun, a fair amount of the software used by the NSA came from Israel, who also spies on the U.S. and has been caught a number of times doing so, and we have imprisoned Israeli spies. See us breaking up with Israel over it?
You are telling Obama to stay out of Brooklyn? Exactly how would that help Brooklyn? And where do yo come off saying Obama is not upholding his oath to support and defend the constitution, He killed Bin laden. WTF have you done to defend the U.S. Constitution?
The President can go where ever he wants, the same as anyone else in this country. Its called freedom, I guess you have not heard of it, or you are deluded into thinking that you decide who gets to exercise that freedom according to your whim. Some Constitutional scholar you are (NOT)
Funny though that you complain about immigration and then think you can also tell a U.S. citizen where he can and can't go within the U.S. Seems like you need to actually go and read the Constitution cause you clearly do not understand it.
Oct. 25, 2013, 6:52 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
Proud to know the folks at P-Tech. They work hard and do great work!
Oct. 25, 2013, 9:08 pm
Edgar from Suset Park says:
I hear next week Romney is coming in to campaign for Hynes.
Oct. 26, 2013, 4:56 am
bkmanhatposeur from Brokeland says:
Obama went to P-Tech to recruit these kids to build killer drones or join the Air Force to become fighter/bomber pilots or drone controllers.
Oct. 26, 2013, 9:39 pm
nonsense from PS says:
@Ty - name calling, that's real mature. I see you're one of them fakes who are all about being politically correct instead of having a back bone, being a realist, and saying things as it is. Whatever, moving on...
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:32 am
ty from pps says:
Nonsense... You claimed that P-Tech students aren't earning their grades and insinuated that this school and the 4 2 program is some sort of sham.

Since this is most not true, I'll stick with my characterization of you as an ignorant jerk.
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:50 am
ty from pps says:
4 plus 2 program
Oct. 28, 2013, 9:51 am

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