Sunday in the Park

I secretly enjoy working on Sunday mornings because I get to mark off a work day while most people are sleeping off the previous night’s debauchery. While I could have used similar rest having been up late Saturday seeing Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at the Kraine (huge fun, go see it), I went to work in the new normal in NYC: chilly, overcast and/or rainy, and darker earlier than I like. A perfect day to go on a late afternoon stroll through Central Park.

Aimee and I met down by the entrance of CPW and 59th Street. We made our way past the ballfields where I saw that one can buy beer at the little clubhouse. Brilliant. When we went by the carousel, Aimee notice they were playing a calliope version of “Another Saturday Night,” which is featured prominently in Apostles of Park Slope. I wanted to call Jason but I knew he was off in Puerto Rico and I didn’t think it was funny enough for him to incur the phone charges.

We went by a great jazz quartet wailing away near the promenade and saw other street performers but the one that got me to crack my wallet was a 10-year-old boy who was juggling pins on a unicycle. Then we weaved around a street fair near the band shell where they were breaking down the booths. One contained a 15 foot Lego sculpture that look like an elaborate series of castles.

While there may be rabid animals roaming the park, as noted by the many warning signs, the urban wonder does connect with several civilized places to use the restroom. I chose the Metropolitan Museum. Going there decreases your chances of having to work around someone bathing for the first time in days in the sink. And you get to take in some art. Since the museum closes at 5:30, we were pressed to get in and out quickly. Must go back again soon. And the food trucks out front are really fancy.

We paused for a gander across the Marathon Man reservoir. Fitting for my dental appointment the next day.

Maybe it was a combo of the time of day and year, but it got quiet north of the reservoir. Like people don’t know all this park is sitting up there, especially on the east side. My quest was to show Aimee the Harlem Meer, which sits in the northeast corner of the park. I’d only been there at odd times like at 7 in the morning but always liked. We pushed north and came across Compost Road. It’s like the Elephant Graveyard in Tarzan but for tree trunks and 30 foot mounds of steaming cedar. If I was 8, I’d have climbed all over them until my parents had to come look for me.

Instead we weaved back to 5th Avenue, near the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo Del Barrio by the Conservatory Garden, which closes at the imprecise time of “dusk.” It was closed and not dusk enough in my opinion but the Giants were taking on the Bears that night so there’s no reason I should be surprised.

The meer is amazing. I dare say it’s the most spectacular spot in the whole park. We took in the sunset there and felt like we were in some other city. Really nice. In film they call it the magic hour. Understandably so. The buildings and the trees were speckled in golden light.

We shuffled up through a good chunk of central Harlem and staved off the urge to indulge to Make My Cake. But we will be back. I got a toothache just looking at the place. Good thing I was hitting the dental chair the next day.