Fire up the grill, America, it's still summer out there. That pastime is a bit of a tricky one here in New York, however, as Central Park doesn't allow grilling at all, and Prospect Park allows it in only nine designated locations. (For a list of all the designated locations, just in time for the last two weekends of summer, go here.) Now, the Daily News reports that citizens are chafing under the limitations and grilling wherever the hell they want to, and "Illegal grills are firing up all over Prospect Park."
Illegal barbecuing of course exacerbates the documented trash problems in the park, but live coals present a special hazardous trash-disposal problem. The News reports of overflowing coal boxes and coals being dumped at the foot of trees. Prospect Park welcomes barbecuing, calling themselves "the barbecue of record" (whatever that means) and offering a slideshow of barbecues on their website. But there may not be enough locations to satisfy the crowds: a Chowhound user reports needing to get to the park by 9:30 a.m. to get a spot ("bring a big book or a good friend"). And maintenance apparently is an issue.
The good news: the paper reports that enforcement is lax. "I'm not sure if it's the recession, like less people are working there, or apathy on the part of park management," a park user said. Another noted, "Park police never give tickets to barbecuers." Till now. How long before this revenue stream gets exploited? Ye have been warned.