My St. Patrick's Day Park Plan was to visit the statue of Irish bard Thomas Moore in the Concert Grove. Moore, now largely forgotten, was a wildly popular poet and singer/songwriter of the early Victorian era; at least on this one day, his lyrics to "The Minstrel Boy" were undoubtedly being roared soulfully in bars all over town.
Life, however, had more interesting plans, as evidenced by the limo-lock in the Wollman Rink parking lot.
Yes, once again, it was Asian-American Bridal Monday! Today three glamorous wedding parties converged simultaneously on the grove for photos. This bride was the most spectacular, from her head (a glitter-dusted architectural masterpiece of hair design) to her dainty high-buttoned feet.
But wait! There's more!
Nearby, a lovely young woman named Tina who was sweeping up leaves and litter observed that this was, indeed, a place where just about anything could happen. I asked her what was the strangest thing she'd seen in her four months on the job. "This elderly man who comes to the park every morning, rain or shine, with his hand down the back of his pants," she related. "He's clean, not a homeless guy; but he comes to the park, and the hand goes down the booty, starts scratching, and then he leaves it there and walks around. Now why would you come to the park to do that?" Tina's job is hard, but, she said, "Every morning I come to work and look at that" (she gestured to the glittering lake beyond the trees) "and I feel good."
Finally, and anticlimactically, I found poor old Thomas Moore up on his pedestal, bedecked with an Irish harp and some pompous carven tributes. His statue gazed down on a very different world than the one that had revered his sentimental verses; but I suspect that Moore, as a grand teller of tales, would have relished the ones playing out around him now.
Believe me if all those
Endearing young charms
Which I gaze on so fondly today
Were to change by tomorrow
And fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away
Though would'st still be adored
As this moment thou art
Let thy loveliness fade as it will
And around the dear ruin
Each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself
--Thomas Moore (1779-1852)