Category Archives: For New Visitors to Bricklyn

Articles that are especially helpful for new visitors to Bricklyn

Unique Space Flight Park Opens Downtown

Feb. 18, 2023

by Samantha B. Fortune, Bricklyn Eagle Health & Science Reporter & David Plater Blue, Metro Desk Reporter

Showcasing an imposing BASA BrickR-4 rocket,📍 Bricklyn’s new Space Flight Park has opened to the delight of many Bricklynites.

📍 BASA is the Bricklyn Aeronautics & Space Administration, comparable to America’s NASA.

Bricklyn’s new Space Flight Park, located in the center of downtown, and surrounded by the buildings of Upper North, West, East, and South Streets.

The BASA BrickR-4 rocket, used in several 1990-era launches,📍 will serve a new mission: as the central attraction in the newly dedicated “Space Flight Park.”

📍Unknown to most, Bricklyn’s BASA BrickR-4 rocket’s design has — with adjustments for scale — been used as the model for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket being used for the Artemis space missions. Unfortunately, NASA has not publicly credited BASA for its’ pioneering 1992 rocket design!

The BrickR-4 rocket displayed in Space Flight Park is no longer functional, and has been emptied of fuel and other equipment. But it still evokes memories of the salad days of Bricklyn’s space flight program, a program that, with the cooperation of the League of Inland Cities, also involved astronauts from three other Inland communities.

Space Flight Park: How the Pieces Came Together

Legotary President and High School History teacher Jerry Plater-Zybrick next to the BrickR-4 rocket at Space Flight Park.

Jerry Plater-Zybrick, head of the Legotary told the enthusiastic opening-day crowd that “Space Flight Park offers a dramatic, unique experience,” adding that “the Legotary is proud to have supported its assembly.”

The idea of restoring one of Bricklyn’s old rockets, and in the process creating a downtown park honoring Bricklyn’s space flight program, came from members of the Bricklyn Legotary.

Many in the community responded, helping the Legotary raise the funds needed to transport the giant rocket to its new home. Volunteers, including half a dozen members of the Bricklyn Laborers’ International Union, helped build a new gantry tower. The tower was closely modeled after the original gantry, unfortunately disassembled and discarded twenty years ago.

View of the newly assembled gantry tower. Volunteer construction workers donned space suits while working on the tower.

Winifred Tiler Jackson, Chief Historian of the Realm, noted that “it’s incredibly important that we preserve and celebrate key parts of Bricklyn’s history, and here we have one of the actual rockets used to send Bricklynites into space.”

As Tiler Jackson added, “the project is more than just a preservation project, it’s also a project that has built pride among Bricklynites in what our small Realm can accomplish when we pull together.”

Chamber of Commerce head Tom Brickorti stressed that the park would rapidly become a major attraction not just for Bricklynites, but for visitors, and noted that “the funds being put into developing the Park will be more than repaid by money spent in Bricklyn by new visitors who want to see our magnificent Space Flight Park.”

Planning Director Tim Brickedy.

City Planning Director Tim Brickedy and members of the Planning Commission were among the first to envision this novel park, recognizing it as a great fit for this long underutilized space in the heart of downtown.

Brickedy chuckled in recounting that, “some nearby residents and office workers thought we would be launching rockets from the middle of downtown, but we reassured everyone that the rocket on display would be fully decommissioned, and empty of fuel or any other equipment. It’s not going to be blasting off!”

To help implement the project, the Planning Commission last year recommended, and the Federal Council adopted, a zoning change that increased the maximum height of structures in the downtown district from 15 to 20 inches. This allowed for Space Flight Park to display a BrickR4 rocket which, along with its platform, comes to 19.5 inches in height.

Looking Back, But With Hope for the Future

Astronaut Sue Tiler Torres in her space suit, accompanied by her daughter Alicia on a rooftop overlooking the new Space Flight Park.

Posing beside one of the new signs for Space Flight Park we found Bricklyn Astronaut Sue Tiler Torres, with Alicia, her seven-year old daughter.📍

📍Sue Tiler Torres was one of the last group of three astronauts certified for flight in 2012. But none have yet been in space, as funding for the space program was slashed the following year. Only several unmanned flights took place between 2013 and 2018. Since then the Bricklyn space program has been on hold.

For Tiler Torres, the new Space Flight Park is “a hopeful step towards reviving the moribund Bricklyn space flight program.” As she adds: “When citizens of the Realm of Bricklyn, are so beautifully reminded of the wonders of space flight, and how much we accomplished just three decades ago, I hope they will support efforts to better fund our space flight program now.”

Alicia also had a few words to share with us: “The new park is so very cool. I love it! I’m going to be an astronaut like my Mom one day, and I’m going to go to the Moon!”

Rocket Moving Day Photos

Finally, credit is due to the Bricklyn Department of Public Works, and workers at the railyard, for helping in the complex, multi-stage move of the rocket and its boosters from the railyard to downtown.

Booster rocket leaves railyard en-route to its new home downtown.

Booster arrives downtown along West Street.
Crew off-loads the booster rocket near the entrance to Space Flight Park.

Reader Responses to this Story:

To the Editor: “I live in the third floor apartment on Upper North Street that is right next to the so-called Space Flight Park. This park will soon be a noisy hang-out for young people with nothing better to do day and night. Or even worse, it’ll be filled with that doomsday Preacher Johnny Kahn and his gang.

Will the police keep an eye on goings on in the park? Or will they just hang out at the police station eating donuts all day like my good-for-nothing son Homer? I bet we all know the answer to that question!” — Abraham Jebediah “Abe” Simpson II (Grampa Simpson)

To the Editor: “I take this occasion to congratulate the people of Bricklyn on their achievement in opening Space Flight Park. Folks, the story of Bricklyn is a story of progress and resilience. Of always moving forward. Of never, ever giving up. It’s a story unique among all LEGO nations. You are writing the next chapter in the great Bricklyn story.

When world leaders ask me to define Bricklyn, and they do, believe it or not, I say I can define it in one word, and I mean this: possibilities. Bricklynites, you don’t think anything is beyond your capacity. Everything is a possibility. You’ve proved it again today.” — U.S. President Joe Biden

To the Editor: “Very interesting that letter from U.S. President Joe Biden you received. Sounded a bit familiar to those of us who sat in The Exchange building connected to the Outland Internet watching him give his “State of the Union” address. Say it ain’t so, Joe!” — John Tiler Quincy, South Bricklyn, VT

Please email the Editor your comments or questions.

Bricklyn train collides with pedestrian

Railroad Crossing Accidents & Head Pop-Offs


About Bricklyn

From Bricklyn Eagle Editor Walt Brickman:

One Vermont Friend of Bricklyn by the name of Nancy asked the following:

Your hi- speed / donut free rail is great but it looks from the photo [reprinted below] it is a bicyclist(s)  killer. Any deceased cyclists or protests or bike bridges created as a result?” 

Brickstar rail service connects downtown Bricklyn and South Bricklyn.
New Brickstar train enroute from Bricklyn’s North Station to South Bricklyn. Bicyclists and pedestrians visible on bike-ped path paralleling, and also crossing, the tracks.

Nancy’s question about bike fatalities raises a point that visitors to Bricklyn are rarely aware of. The citizens of Bricklyn — as Lego plastic-based beings — are virtually indestructible. 

You might find a question from another visitor (who claims to be highly familiar with chemistry) about the molecular composition of Bricklynites of interest.

Being smashed by a high speed locomotive might, at worst, cause a slight chip to a Bricklynite’s “skin” or a “head pop-off.” However, these injuries can be quickly remedied. In going through our newspaper’s archives, we found a series of photos documenting a 2018 collision between a Bricktrak train and a Bricklynite pedestrian who failed to respect the crossing gates as the train was approaching. The photos will help illustrate what is almost a monthly happening in Bricklyn — and lay readers’ concerns to rest..

Above left: The Bricklyn Eagle’s photographer caught this Bricklynite apparently oblivious to both the crossing gates and the oncoming Bricktrak train. Above right: Photo taken immediately after impact, with head pop-off clearly visible.

As you can see, the poor fellow suffered a head pop-off — but it was quickly addressed by the 24/7 Red Team emergency crew, including the Head Chief. As is the norm, this Bricklynite’s head was pushed back in place by the Head Chief, with only a mild headache resulting.

Top row left: the Bricklyn emergency crew springs into action. Top row right: Head Chief Duke B. Santé firmly pushes the popped-off head back into place. Lower left: Santé makes final adjustments to the fellow’s head. Lower right: Thanks expressed to the Head Chief. But to Santé, it’s all in a day’s work.

The only “injury” to this man was to his wallet, since he received a hefty 750 CuDo bill for the cost of the emergency services and for the delay to Bricktrak service while his body and head were removed from the tracks.

➤ Note: rail crossing gates have been installed at almost all locations where rail lines cross the bike-ped pathway system. Bricklyn officials have determined that elevated crossings are not generally needed, though one has been installed over the heavily used Bricklyn railyard.

While it can be shocking to some Outlanders visiting Bricklyn who happen to witness a head pop-off incident (almost a monthly occurrence), no serious injuries to Bricklynites have resulted from run ins with Bricktrak trains over the past ten years.  

Reader Questions & Comments on “Head Pop-Offs” and “The Great Donut Debate”

Brickstar rail service connects downtown Bricklyn and South Bricklyn.

Looking Back at 2022 and Forward to 2023

Bricklyn Ambassador Dross (with green cape) and staff in the Consular Offices.

Bricklyn Ambassador Dennis Plater Dross and his staff express their best wishes to all Friends of Bricklyn for a healthy and rewarding New Year, or as the Danish founders of Bricklyn would have put it:

“De bedste ønsker for et sundt og givende nytår!” 

Homer Simpson taken in for booking for donut theft.
Homer Simpson taken in for booking for donut theft.

Looking Back at 2022:

1) The opening of Bricklyn’s first police station, needed due to a sharp uptick in the high misdemeanor of donut theft. This news photos show the first alleged thief (aka Homer Simpson) being led into the police station for booking for theft of donuts just minutes after the station opened. Fyi: Just why are the Simpsons in Bricklyn, see FAQ Question #5.

2) The opening of “Le Bricklyn,” a new 4-star French-style Hotel that the Bricklyn Chamber of Commerce believes will lead to a surge in visitors from Continental inland and outland communities.

Le Bricklyn Hotel
Le Bricklyn Hotel

The hotel also boasts a gourmet restaurant that will test the loyalty of the regulars at TJ’s Streetcar Café (visible in the Brickstar photo below).

3) Improved high speed rail service arrived, as Bricktrak’s new “Brickstar” service was inaugurated last month. Brickstar reduces travel time from downtown Bricklyn to South Bricklyn from 23 seconds to 18 seconds on the Stone Arch Bridge route, a stunning accomplishment. Now rail service is more than twice as fast as bicycling between the two largest cities of the Realm. 

Brickstar rail service connects downtown Bricklyn and South Bricklyn.
New Brickstar train enroute from Bricklyn’s North Station to South Bricklyn. Bicyclists visible on bike-ped path, also heading to South Bricklyn. ew Brickstar train enroute from Bricklyn’s North Station to South Bricklyn. Bicyclists visible on bike-ped path, also heading to South Bricklyn.

In a clever ploy, Bricktrak has even equipped the new rail cars with bike racks, enticing cyclists to also ride the train. Unfortunately, the higher speeds also mean there will not be enough time to eat even a single donut (and who can really eat just one donut) unless you stay on the Brickstar for quite a few roundtrip loops! Bricktrak has promised the availability of multi-loop roundtrip tickets.

4) Completion of the FOB Memorial Lighthouse at the entrance to Bricklyn Harbor (see photo on following page). The Memorial Bridge was constructed on a fast-track, emergency basis after the tragic sinking of the New Panabrick class container ship “Full of Bricks.”

The FOB foundered on shoals near the The FOB foundered on shoals near the harbor entrance on the night of 29 March 2019 during a late Winter East-Norther. A Court of Inquiry found the City of Bricklyn and the administration of YMK Spiro Brickburger negligent in promoting the City’s harbor to New Panabrick class container ships before having a harbor lighthouse in place. Using the above link (then Question 5) for more on YMK Brickburger.

Looking Forward to 2023:

The entire community will be celebrating the opening this month of the Tripartite Realm of Bricklyn’s Archives building. It will have a distinctive mimetic architectural design. There will be a special installation event during which several of Bricklyn’s founding documents will be placed inside the Archives, finally offering them a waterproof, safe location (and by “safe” we really mean “safe”).

Rowlf the Dog will host the ribbon cutting ceremony for Bricklyn's first dog park!
Rowlf the Dog

We are also eagerly anticipating the opening in early 2023 of the unique Space Flight Park — featuring a BASA BrickR-4 rocket — in the heart of downtown, as well as the much in-demand South Bricklyn Dog Park. Muppet celebrity Rowlf the Dog is expected to host the ribbon ripping ceremony! Watch for coverage of both openings in The Bricklyn Eagle.

Also on the horizon is the opening of “Jazz by the Yard,” a jazz club to be located by the railyard. We’ll be looking forward to cool jazz and hot train engines!

Hilma Plater-Zybrick
Hilma Plater-Zybrick

Finally, elections for the Federal Council are scheduled for May. Bricklynites are anxiously waiting to hear if Council President Hilma Plater-Zybrick will be seeking another term.

We hope to have you visit Bricklyn in 2023! — and feel free to let family or friends know about visiting Bricklyn, or following us at: