May 17, 2009
Lazy afternoon in the park
Friday, after a morning wandering through a history museum, my parents and I decided to get some deli food and have a picnic in the park. (Big City Like No Other has the best deli food in the universe.) Although most of Central Park has a naturalistic design, my mother had read about a six-acre formal garden in the northeast corner: the Conservatory Garden. To enter, we walked through a tall wrought-iron gate that once served as an entrance to the Vanderbilt mansion.
Formal gardens – with their carefully planted beds, neatly trimmed hedges, and fountains of water – always remind me of Europe. We sat under arching branches to eat our food, and then wandered through the paths, admiring the spring flowers in bloom. Near the fountain in the center garden, a bunch of school kids had spread towels on the pavement and were eating their lunch, while their teachers kept a careful eye on them. On the stairway that led to a vine-covered arbor, a group of teenagers were sitting with notebooks and pencils, sketching and writing, while their teacher hovered near.
By the time we walked back through, the teenagers had moved to a different spot, all talking and giggling as they looked at each others’ notebooks. The kids had packed their towels into backpacks and were running around the fountain. The sparkling water looked tempting: I’m sure only the presence of the teachers kept them from jumping in.
Posted by jo(e)