Dreary day, dreary errand. Got off the Q train a stop too early, was aiming for Lexington and 59th. Somehow, remembered that when I get off at the wrong stop, something wonderful often happens, and squared my tired shoulders and slogged up into the light. By some grace, looked immediately to my left.
For us Brooklynites who don't work in midtown and live close to Prospect Park, it's easy to kind of forget about Central Park. For those of us history wonks, it's tempting to get uppity and remind people that Central was not Vaux and Olmsted's masterpiece in their own minds; that came later, here in the green heart of Brooklyn. But on a cold, damp day in early May, what a fresh and exquisite vista to greet one upon arising from the subway--almost like a hallucination.
From this vantage point, clinging to the stone perimeter of park and subway, one looks around and sees, mostly, the gracious old dowager hotels that line Central Park South; one must go further north and tip back the head to have the treeline punctuated by the repulsive, scary new supertowers rising along "Billionaire's Row" on 57th Street. Here, I merely gave a loving nod to the Plaza, where my father-in-law worked for 50 years and where we spent our wedding night in 1983. I can't imagine anyone ever gazing so fondly some day upon the icy stratospheric sliver of "One 57" and its ilk.