With glorious warm weather and clear blue skies, the only thing to do today was spend it out in the open so we headed to Central Park to see what all the fuss is about. From our apartment in Brooklyn this was a good 45 minutes by subway.
The thing about the New York metro is that it is incredibly good value if you are going any distance; a one way fare is just $2.75 – no matter how how far you are going. And because your destination makes no difference to the price you pay, there is no need for turnstiles at the exit, which is a tremendously good thing when you are travelling with young kids. Not only does it save time but it means that rather than having to search for all the tickets at the exit and push them through the barriers, your hands are free to keep hold of the little people who might otherwise easily be swallowed up in the crowds.
Even better; kids under 44″ travel for free. So for less than the price of a couple of drinks we made our way to Central Park for the day. Starting on the west side, we wound our way towards the Great Lawn via several playgrounds. Lots of school groups were using the park for various activities but there was plenty of space and the boys charged around climbing rocks and running down hills until they’d had their fill. Once at the Great Lawn, the boys found a baseball diamond where they practised their pitching skills whilst I dozed in the sunshine.
If people watching were a sport, this would be the place to train. From behind my shades I watched local office workers sharing lunch and young couples falling asleep curled up together in the sun. One couple, oblivious to the outside world, inadvertently wandered into the path of a woman reading with a small dog on her lap. The pampered pooch transformed into a snarling schnauzer, bearing his teeth and giving the poor couple quite a fright. All around, students practised martial arts and parents rocked babies to sleep in buggies or slings. Everyday life in the park.
When the boys had played enough baseball we moved on and with the sun behind us we tried to spell out our name with our shadows. It was pitiful really and probably quite a spectacle for any other people watchers in the vicinity – we must have had a dozen attempts before we gave up – each of us could produce a perfect letter but not once did we get them all lined up at the same time.
We’ll keep trying.