It’s been a while since I’ve done a post. Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve done any significant new wandering around NYC; but today I did.
It’s cool, dreary, and overcast with occasional rainshowers. My kind of day. I got up and couldn’t figure out what I felt like doing and realized it’s been forever since I’ve wandered through Central Park. So, off I went. Without my camera (so no new pictures).
I took the bus up to East 72nd Street and started to wander over to the Park. I immediately spotted something interesting: people walking around with runner numbers over their shirts. It turned out that there had been a big fitness run in Central Park and I was getting there too late to see anything of it. Well, except for one or two hundred ex-runners wandering the streets of Manhattan. No big issue, but mixed amongst them were men in kilts! Not with runner numbers…but with musical instruments. Mostly drums. (I would have loved to see bagpipes, but didn’t notice any.) I’ve never heard of bands going along with a fitness run. I realized something else must be going on. Then I started noticing people in identical shirts. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them.
I had accidentally run into the terminus of the annual labor union parade. I don’t know when and where it started, but it was being terminated at 5th Avenue and E. 72nd Street around 11am. The cops were sending the floats in one direction and the marchers in another. The marchers were wandering off toward home (I presume). I started noticing a lot of signs promoting their unions and Democratic Party politicians. No Republicans need apply around that group. I did notice one of the politicians (I recognized him from one of the posters) hugging various marchers. I think I remember his name, but I won’t guess it here.
So I stopped to watch for a little while. There was one good band with cheerleaders, but the rest was pretty boring. No, it was actually very, very, very boring. This and the St. Patricks Day Parade have to be some of my least favorite parades. Just too “municipal government-oriented” for my taste; although I have to point out that a number of the paraders were not associated with the City government. But a whole lot were. I think that if I had stuck around, I’d have seen a very similar contingent to the St. Pat’s grouping.
I did stick around for about 45 minutes. I don’t know why.
Then I entered the Park. Ahhhh! Very pleasant. I didn’t stray too far from a beeline across, but I did get to the sailboat pond where people rent remote control sailboats. There was some sort of birthday party or story-telling going on near the Lewis Carroll statues. Only two sailboats being operated, but both were being controlled pretty well. At least up until the users started using the little engines on them and they started going very quickly and ruined the casual ambiance I was feeling.
I left there and went by the boathouse where you can rent real rowboats. I didn’t see anybody out on the lake, though. The most fun thing I’ve always noticed about that place is that when a man and woman rent the boat, the woman almost always does the rowing. I don’t know why, but that seems to be the standard.
From there I went to Bethesda Fountain and saw a wedding that was just finishing. I always see brides and grooms around there on a weekend.
I did a little more wandering and decided to head out to my favorite Manhattan Street: West 72nd. It hasn’t changed over the past year or so. At least to my eye. I found a little aquarium/tropical fish store and spent a while going through there. I was actually slightly tempted. But my place is way too small for a decent aquarium. And the dead fish smell (probably starting within days of my purchase) would be too pervasive.
I went to Broadway and saw that my old favorite open-air bookselling place is still going strong. Street vendors with used books are always there. I went up Broadway to 51st Street or so and had a hamburger at Nick’s. It wasn’t as good as I remember, but the ambiance is absolutely unchanged. It is the quintessential greasy spoon and is always jammed with stoves, tables, and people.
Afterward, I went home. It was just about a 2 hour jaunt, but very pleasant.