Monday, April 14, 2014

Central Park in Spring

Yesterday was the first of the vernal season on which the sun and wind could both agree to warm us in their springtime hands. The Central Park promenade teemed with travelers and citizens alike, all teased out of doors by the sun and sweet air. The trees, though, more budding than blooming, were not yet persuaded from their winter seclusion and so the lively mall at the heart of the city bathed in unhindered light.

Cyclists streamed through, dodging pedestrians, dogs, and strollers. The restful natives sunned themselves on the lawns while cameras, occasionally attached to fleshy humanoid stands, snapped pictures of the germinal fauna. Blowing about were bubbles of all sizes, vast but short-lived ones emanating from the sudsy ropes of the professionals and thousands of tiny spheres flitting up the woody canopy from the soapy plastic pistols of little kids. One squirrel, who had the distinct air of having overslept and whom I named Phil, scampered about the daffodils beneath a tree for twenty minutes before concluding, I assume, that his winter store had been stolen. Cave furres!

Down by Shakespeare and Columbus, violinist Susan Keser, The NY Violinist, played with aplomb a crowd-pleasing selection of romantic and baroque pieces with generous helpings of Bach and Vivaldi. She even played the solo to some recorded concerti, bringing a big ensemble sound around her fine playing. I also caught quite by chance a few magic routines by The Magic Bald Guy, aka Mick Stone, who brings hilarity to polished and delightful legerdemain. It's easy enough, I hope, to appreciate good technique and fun magic at a theater, but when the performer has also to woo and charm a crowd who can walk away at any moment, tune out passers by, and improvise humor, well you have to applaud that beyond the usual. Talented performers like these, whose work lights up the city with fun and flare, deserve not only thanks but a little coin too for so liberally sharing the fruits of thousands of toilsome, lonely hours perfecting their crafts.

Certainly I can't forget Willie G., The Poet of Central Park, self-proclaimed poet, I believe, who sells his poems in the park. With regrets I didn't have enough cash to afford one of his books, but I gave a small donation to his poetical cause and in thanks he gave to my girlfriend a poem about happiness. I haven't read the poem yet, but I'll be pleased to find it half as charming as its author. And kudos to Flicker photographer Pete Considine for his great shot of Willie.

So that was Central Park in yesterday's spring, at least in my corner. Squirrels and daffodils. Sun, music, and magic. Happiness.

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