After a lifetime of hearing about New York’s Central Park, from countless movie scenes, book references, and jokes from late night TV monologues, I was finally about to experience it. It was a warm, sunny day, but spring had not yet sprung. The trees and other plant life were still in winter form.
Being mid-March, this may have been one of the best days to be outside since winter started, and some of the citizens of New York were taking advantage of it. I entered from the southeast corner and began to wander around, hoping to witness some of the Central Park legend. After an hour and a half, however, I began to realize this was just a really big, somewhat barren city park, and no matter how far I walked, that fact wasn’t going to change. A month from now may be a different story, but, as I stood there, the park was still stuck with the dreary charm of late winter. There were no beggars, no buskers, no peddlers, no eccentric characters, no homeless people wrapped in newspapers sleeping on park benches, and no fanfare or pageantry of any type. Just a city park. A really large city park.
Early on, I realized the scenes would probably be more suited to black-and-white shots, so I started to look for interesting combinations of park features with the city skyline serving as a backdrop. I didn’t get anything great, but I chalk up the experience as good practice shooting barren city parks in harsh, mid-day light. I could have stuck around longer to wait for some better interactions between people, the park, and the surrounding skyline, but our plane was leaving in a few hours, and I had another stop to make.
I got back on the subway heading toward Union Square. The 6 train seems to be a regular accomplice lately. Upon boarding, I immediately notice a women’s wool coat on the floor. Next to, and under it, was a small pool of spilled coffee, with the offending cup still face down in it’s own freshly-brewed blood. Was there an interesting story tied to this? Had someone tried to sober up and failed? Was the coffee knocked out of someone’s hand, and the coat thrown down in anger? Was the passengers body beamed aboard an alien vessel, her possessions falling to the floor? My line of vision began to follow the tiny stream of coffee as it made it’s way through the train and… whoa… legs and high heels! End of story.
I climbed out of the subway at the corner of Union Square Park. There was a bustling public market set up on one side of the park, while the other side was occupied by people playing chess, selling arts and crafts, and painting their boobs. As enticing as all of that sounds, the highlight of this stop was the best danish I’ve ever tasted. If you are ever in Union Square Park, and you like apple danish, spend three dollars and taste the glory which can’t be experienced with mass-produced junk food.
The full gallery for this trip can be viewed here.