NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year, a time to let your special someone know how much you care.
But as CBSN New York’s John Dias reports, for some couples, every day is like Valentine’s Day in Prospect Park.
A romantic spot inside the park, called the Nethermead, and the couple’s two dogs brought Paul and Alice Marcus Krieg together 18 years ago.
“I was just hanging out in the park, and Paul came down the hill with his dog, Steve. He had just moved here from Colorado,” Alice told Dias.
The two hit it off instantly.
“We walked the dogs and then we just spent the whole day together,” Paul said.
“We went to Grand Army Plaza and we shared blueberries,” Alice added.
Three years later, they were married and say every day they still walk in the park, bringing with them their new dog and remembering all their old memories.
“When we were both kind of getting started with our careers and things, we would do date night here and just bring the dogs and a picnic lunch, and tie the dogs up to a tree and throw a Frisbee all evening,” said Paul.
At times, they say, moments spent in the park have even helped save their marriage.
“We have a rule, actually, when we start fighting in our tiny little apartment, we always bring it to the park, because as soon as you step out of that tiny little confound, you realize it’s not important. And then we come and we take a walk, and everything is better,” Alice said.
Like the Kriegs, many couples find themselves making their way there.
Whether it’s young love just starting to flourish, like David Devine and Megan Currie getting to know one another on a run.
“I mean, Prospect Park is just a really romantic place to go,” said Currie.
“It’s kind of like meditative time, but you’re together,” Devine added.
Or couples that have been together for decades.
“It’s a good stress reliever, and it’s nice to be here together and get to do something calm and quiet,” said Jill Cordle Monte.
Some even pop the question in the park. So it doesn’t come as a shock that weddings are popular there, too, and have been since the 1920s.
“The first official wedding took place in Prospect Park on June 7, 1923, and that was between Elizabeth Hoyt Senarens and Owen Morton Gunderson,” Turnstile Tours Vice President Andrew Gustafson told Dias.
Gustafson said all the major papers covered Prospect Park’s first wedding, but the pictures got lost in history.
“We are standing in what was historically one of the most romantic areas of the park,” he said in the rose garden. “One stipulation of the park was that they had to have the wedding at 7:30 in the morning, so that they wouldn’t disturb regular park-goers here.”
Ever since that first wedding, countless other lovebirds have tied the knot there. It’s now estimated that 120 couples get married in the park every year, and that number keeps growing.
“I think there is a lot of love and romance going in the park, and we see it here at the wedding venues that you can rent to get married in the park,” said Elyse Newman, assistant vice president of visitor services for the Prospect Park Alliance.
People can get married there all year round.
The Picnic House serves as the park’s most popular spot. Renting it out will cost you $3,000 to $6,500.
“It’s just the most beautiful place in Brooklyn, hands down,” Newman said.
Love and Prospect Park. If you ask these couples, there’s nothing like it.
“We always go back happy after we’ve been in the park,” said Paul Marcus Krieg. “Prospect Park, to me, is one of the greatest place on earth.”