I took a double take when I saw this sign the other day. It looks new. I recall for many years passing a sign that said Brooklyn Heights Esplanade. I always smiled when I saw that sign, because I know that few besides I referred to the walkway that way. It was built and established in the 1950s as the Esplanade, but everybody in the area (in New York, really) referred to it as the Promenade. I thought this was mainly because promenade was not as alien or unusual a word as esplanade, even though they both mean basically the same thing.
But now it seems the Parks Dept. has caved in to public sentiment and also calls it the Promenade. The Parks Dept. website does the same. No mention of the word Esplanade. I know I'm not imagining this because all the old New York guidebooks I have call the stretch the Esplanade, even the AIA.
This is a small thing, I know, but I find it a shame. The constant clash between the two names made life more interesting, in the same way that the Avenue of the Americas is called Sixth Avenue by most New Yorkers, and people tend to call Grand Central Terminal by the name Grand Central Station.
Also, technically, esplanade is more correct. A promenade is any stretch of path meant for strolling. Esplanades are always by a body of water.