While New York City in general is pretty wack, Central Park in particular has its own brand of cray-cray.
First off, I’m pretty darn sure that the smell? The pee smell that permeates the entire city??! Originates in Central Park.
Which means the whole time you’re there, you’re wondering what exactly happened before you got there to make it smell like that. I have my theories, but now I’m GAAAACK! gagging, so I won’t go into them.
Another thing is the garbage. When we were there recently, we saw one lone Parks & Rec worker (wearing extremely faded Parks & Rec uniform pants with her own top from home) picking up the garbage using a Whole Foods paper bag and NOT wearing gloves. This all gave the impression she was a volunteer who wasn’t doing a very good job. But upon closer inspection, she did have a name badge and a walkie-talkie, so I’m assuming she was “official” but overwhelmed and therefore not very effective because we saw families surrounded by garbage having picnics in fields of garbage. (Did I mention there was a lot of garbage?) At first you think they’re sitting on oddly shaped blankets and it’s only as you get closer that you realize the “blankets” are actually paper, wrappers, bottles and other sundry trash that they’re plopped right in the midst of. I’m assuming the Jersey Shore doesn’t extend as far as Central Park and so the picnic quadrants didn’t contain any hypodermic needles or medical waste, but I didn’t look that closely so I don’t know for sure.
And the playgrounds in Central Park? Are like Alcatraz, only slightly smaller, and in playground format, and land-locked, not in the middle of the ocean. Ok, nothing like Alcatraz actually, other than they are made completely out of cement and contained by fences (which I’m pretty sure are topped with barbed wire in at least two instances). It’s like they took a regular playground and coated the entire thing (climbing structures, slides, grass) with a thick layer of cement. So that any kid who bites it on these playgrounds is pretty much guaranteed a Humpty Dumpty future.
Based on all of this, I always come away from Central Park puzzled by why visitors continue to go there. The smell, the garbage, the cracked eggshells everywhere, and let’s not even forget “The Central Park Jogger.” You guys haven’t forgotten about that, right? ‘Cause I know I haven’t. Seriously. Awful. And granted, that was, like, twenty-five years ago, but it’s not something you can get out of your head. So I’m endlessly on the lookout for anything that may resemble “wilding” when I’m in Central Park.
As a result, I stumble along its paths mumbling, all shifty-eyed, whipping around every time I hear footsteps behind me.
P.S. No one ever bothers the lunatics in Central Park. This, I know.
P.P.S. Parks & Rec Authorities, Lunatics and Egglovers – please do not contact me with complaints. This blog is all in good fun. Thank you and carry on wit’ yer bad selves.