Friday, June 8, 2007

Dichotomy In Central Park

I finally made it to Central Park today to take some pictures. I had no real agenda as to what I wanted pictures of, I just wanted to take pictures. Brooke and I took the subway to Fifth Avenue where we got off and just started walking.

One of the first sights we came upon was a group of musicians playing in the park. They seemed to be having fun with the music as they enjoyed the beautiful, though a little warm, day. Their music was mixed with the songs of the birds, the hum of people talking, and the aleatoric street sounds that surround the park. Somehow all the sounds formed a symphony whose title was "Today".

As we continued to walk, I was struck repeatedly by how things that are opposites or extremes shared common space in a harmonic way. The park is surrounded by vendors selling hot dogs, ice cream ad pretzels. Afternoon snacks were shared by brothers an sisters, mothers and children, and husbands and wives. People were no the only creatures sharing bites. The horses that draw the tour carriages were also sharing their afternoon snacks. The pigeons love to gather around the feed buckets hoping for some bits of dropped oats.

While in the midst of the lush greenery of Central Park, it is easy to forget that just above you, on all four sides, is the hustle and bustle of a busy city. The packed streets and people-saturated sidewalks seem so far away. Though the skyscrapers are visible through clearings every now and then, they too seem a world away.
Central Park is home to the Central Park Zoo. We did not walk through the zoo today, but we did walk around it. The zoo inhabitants were not visible from the path we were on, but there were many critters that were encountered on our walk who wee not zoo residents. Here goose and turtles enjoy the sun-soaked rock together. We stood watching for ten or fifteen minutes. The goose turned his head a few times but his feet never moved. The turtles too were like an extension of the rock on which they were perched. Perhaps they were watching al of the humans who were basking in the warm afternoon sun.
New York taxis deserve every bit of the reputation they have. It is amazing to me that there is not an accident at every intersection in every hour! these cabbys'are crazy drivers, yet, somehow, they manage to share the streets not only with other cars but with humans and animals as well.
Central Park offers a beautiful place for people in the city to take a break and enjoy plants, animals, each other and a respite from the hectic world that surrounds it and us. How nice it would be to spend a little piece of every day watching the ducks, talking a horse and buggy ride, or sharing some ice cream with someone you love. As I get ready to head home, I left wondering where the Central Park in my neighborhood is.