At the tail end of an especially gloomy afternoon, the lights of Jane’s Carousel exuded a warm, happy glow at the inaugural spin in Brooklyn Bridge Park today. Visitors from Brooklyn and beyond stopped by to take a close look at the delicate landscape paintings and ornately jeweled horses—and to finally take a $2 ride. (It's free for children under 3 accompanied by an adult, and while there's no extra charge for overweight customers, there are some restrictions—see below.)
The carousel, which originally belonged to Jane and David Walentas, who bought it in 1984 for $385,000, has been completely restored, accented with gold leaf, and is ready for your enjoyment. Among those in attendance was Mayor Bloomberg, who said, "This is one more reason to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park,” adding that in these turbulent economic times it’s "important to invest in things that make New York great."
There was good cheer (and popcorn) for everyone who wanted to be among the first to see the carousel and take a spin. John Coburn, an 8-year-old Brooklyn boy, shrieked, “It is amazing! Especially the horses that move up and down!” (Coburn was among those to help carry in the newly arrived horses earlier this month, so perhaps he’s a little biased.) And a note to full-figured carousel riders over 225 lbs.: The park asks that you stay off those horses that move up and down, and stick to a stationary horse or a chariot.