Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I really wanted to enjoy summer in the city and do all sorts of things that you can't do when it is snowing, 14 degrees, or the wind blowing off the Hudson is flecked with pieces of glittering ice. Luckily the weather in New York was divine -- sunny and warm and not too muggy. I spent time in nearly every park that would have me, and if you've been to NY you know not all of them will. It is my secret wish to be granted entrance to Gramercy Park, if only for a few brief moments. But the doors are always locked.
So I went to the places that would have me: Central Park, Madison Square Park, Washington Park, Stuyvesant Square. And I loved the people watching: the kids on the swing sets, the teens in bikinis, the people reading the paper and eating ice cream, those engaged in deep but completely not private conversations.
I guess if you live in the big city you have to look for nature where you can find it, even if it is in thin stretches of grass between tall glass buildings. And you enjoy every minute of it, even if this means going to some parks that only allow "passive recreation," a concept that would go completely unheeded in any of the other big cities I've lived in. But those New Yorkers made passive recreation look pretty lovely -- New York is a rather European city in so many ways.