A favorite memory in the Park.

Ahhh, The Park. In NYC it means Central Park unless you’re in Brooklyn. Then it might mean Prospect. But maybe not. I’ve lived in NYC on and off since 1981 and haven’t had a love affair with Central Park. I know very little of the terrain and have spent not much time in it. But I’m romanced nonetheless by the opportunity now afforded me.

I walk though it on the way to work every day. I cut through a corner . Crossing Central Park South, the senses start to get a hint of what is to come because of the redolent and oddly endearing reek of horse manure. As soon as I enter the park, I leave the city behind for a bit. The further in I get, the more the street sounds are muted. Lack of hard reflective surfaces and full trees, 'spose. It smells good in there.

I love the high-tension jockeying of the speed-bikers and the veryveryvery serious runners infrequently interspersed with just normal folk trying to reduce the jiggle. Yesterday my stroll went from the scent of grass to the scent of grass and I had to peer over a wall to find two men. Sitting on a large rock. At 6:50am. Surrounded by pot smoke.

I need to explore more paths, expand the arc of my walk as the weeks go by. From afar, Central Park has always been a glorious timepiece, marking the shifting of the seasons with its clinically perfect rectangle of growth plopped into a city that had not come to touch its borders in a meaningful way when it was first constructed.

They show movies in the Park. Next week it’s The Shining. Might have to pack a picnic and bring my Dearly Beloved™ in from the outer boroughs and sit in the night air and scream and laugh.

My favorite park memory is of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Endless walks along the horse paths at Valley Green. Feeding the ducks pieces of popcorn we brought with us. Happy times with my parents and older brother.

Back in the seventies, I was visiting some friends in the city. We were coming out of the Guggenheim and crossed over to walk through the park. I made a joke about getting mugged in Central Park. She got all red and said something about people who weren’t from New York not knowing anything at all about the city. I’ve lived in new York all my life, she said, and I’ve only been mugged twice!:eek:

Ha! Love it. Crime today is down 70% compared to then. Odd… I take relative street safety for granted.

The free opera in the park from New York Grand Opera. Flying kites in the park. Dinner at The Boat House. Lots of good ones!

But I think my very best memory of Central Park would have to be during the Bon Jovi concert on the green in 2008. That was my very first date with the man who would later become my husband and the father of my child. Dancing with him in the park and sharing our first kiss during Always was one of my best moments in NYC.

When I was little, it was the Kankakee River State Park. The whole family went there to sled down a park entrance one winter’s day. That was a nice change from sledding our back yard.

I enjoyed wandering out in the Strawberry Fields (though not forever.)