Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NYD4 - Central Park

Today Astrid and I spent the day in Central Park. There are playgrounds all along 5th Avenue.

Here is Astrid swinging in the baby swing. At first I couldn't figure out why she wasn't smiling and laughing as usual, but then I realized that the metal frame on the swing (that she was holding onto) was freezing cold.Sunny day - Sweepin’ the clouds away,
On my way to where the air is sweet.
Can you tell me how to get,
how to get to Sesame Street?Here is a quote from the Amy Tan book I'm reading, "Saving Fish from Drowning" about a mother's influence on her child's life:

"A mother is one who fills your heart in the first place. She teaches you the nature of happiness: what is the right amount, what is too much, and the kind that makes you want more of what is bad for you. A mother helps her baby flex her first feelings of pleasure. She teaches her when to later exercise restraint, or to take squealing joy in recognizing the fluttering leaves of the gingko tree, to sense a quieter but more profound satisfaction in chancing upon an everlasting pine. A mother enables you to realize that there are different levels of beauty, and therein lie the sources of pleasure, some of which are popular and ordinary, and thus of brief value, and others of which are difficult and rare, and hence worth pursuing."

Isn't that a beautiful quote?
Having a child has brought out many maternal instincts I never knew I had. Here Astrid is next to a pond in Central Park. Several little kids were feeding the ducks and goldfish pieces of bread.This is the first time Astrid has seen ducks. At the pond you can also rent a remote controlled sailboat to navigate on the water.It started to get a bit chilly in the late afternoon so out came the mittens that match Astrid's hat. I thought she would hate wearing them but she tolerated them probably because they kept her little hands nice and warm. After two hours of walking in the park I finally found the Children's Zoo in Central Park. Here we are sitting on a log with turtles. The one empty turtle shell is for kids to crawl inside and experience what it would feel like to be a turtle.Here we are standing in a cave, in front of an aquarium with large fish swimming around inside. The flash brings out my baby browns and Astrid's (startled) baby blues. A photo of the aquarium tank. Snoozing in Central Park.I walked out of Central Park and found myself on the Upper East side on Madison Avenue and Park Avenue. I made a pitstop at a pharmacy that I saw sold toys for babies. Astrid was getting bored playing with the assortment of toys we brought with us, so I thought it would be nice to get her a few new ones for the flight back.

After paying for the toys I asked the Cashier what was the easiest way to get back to Avenue of the Americas and 53rd Street. Her response was, "Oh that's on the West side and you would need to cut through the park but it's too late now." Yikes. Too late?

So I kept walking thinking I was walking back to the park, but I was actually heading in the wrong direction. It was a really nice neighborhood. You could tell it was an upscale neighborhood because the politicians were out in full force trying to get votes on election night. I hurriedly walked by and said, "Sorry, I'm from LA."

I asked an elderly lady who was out walking, for directions on how to get back to Central Park and again I got the same warning, "Oh it's too late to walk through the park now. You might try the bus, but don't walk through the park." Great. So now it's getting dark and I keep thinking about Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episodes on TV where murdered bodies are found next to apartment buildings.

But I was feeling kinda good about the fact that people mistook me for a New Yorker. Then as I was walking back, this one lady (a campaigner) said, "She's from LA" and her partner complimented her on her good memory (since I had just walked by 5 minutes earlier). Then she said, "I can tell by the walk." What? You can tell I'm from LA from my walk? What does an LA walk look like? So I walk like a Los Angeleno...interesting.

I got to the park and it was pretty dark, since it's not well lit at night. I didn't want to chance getting mugged in the park, so in the end I hailed a cab to get back to our hotel. It's funny how during the day the park is a haven for kids and families but at night (by 6 PM) New Yorkers fear to even walk through it.

So that was our day in the park NY style.


Peter said...

technically ave of the americas (6th ave) and 53 is midtown, not west side (I used on 6th and 57th :) ... but you can cut through the park a bit, but it is not much of a difference ..

but yes ... no one enters the park after dark (ok, i have 3 AM, I must have gotten lucky) ... But with a baby in a stroller, people just know that you would not chase them if they snatched your purse.

There is a small sushi place I really miss (Tsuki .. on 1st ave between 75th and 76th) . used to be an excellent low key place ... until they got a flying color NYT review ... last time we were there they were just too busy ...
heck .. i miss SUSHI .. !!! whaaa

Karissa (mommy) said...

That hat is adorable on Astrid.

Did she enjoy the ducks? I always get excited when Isabella see's her first anything. Even though she'll never remember it I still think it's fun.

That would be crazy to not be able to walk through a park. Especially at 6 in the evening. I think it'd be fun to live in a big city like New York, but hearing about the park makes me happy I live on the tundra. :) I am glad you didn't get mugged though.

Angie said...

Whoa everyone telling you it's too late to walk through the park makes me think they just allow, or that it's okay for bad things to happen in the park...as long as it's "after dark".

Glad you chose to hail a cab!

Rose said...

I should have asked you for recommendations on places to eat in NY. Darn!

Rose said...

I love that hat too. It makes Astrid look like a Scandinavian girl with the braids on each side. I tried a few hats on Astrid at the store and she only liked this one. She smiled when I put it on her.

About the ducks...she was busy looking around at all the people so I dunno if she even noticed the ducks.