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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Walk in the Park

Weeks and months escape so many of us in habit, chore and task. Often I find myself hungry for an escape of the daily to refresh and revive. I yearn to try something a bit different to the vernacular measures of my day.

Like most that inhabit this country in 2008…busy is the buzzword, served with a side order of stress. I have three young children, a business, and dirty dishes that just never seem to be able wash themselves. Any schedule can become overwhelmingly tight, but as the climber can see the mountain clearer from the plain, a respite from the daily can make mundane chores seem welcome acconpaiments to the day. And so I thought, a wee vacation in my own town, even a walk in the park could make all the difference.

And it did…With my 14 year old niece Hayley and my five year old Charlotte in tow, we headed to the City and our annual girlie weekend with loose plans to meet friends, and big plans to just see what we might find. We made a merry trio.

We started our walk at Grand Army Plaza (all you Streisand and "Sex in the City" fans knows this place and its fountain….). The scaffolding is still up on the Plaza Hotel, so we’ve made a note to walk the lobby on our next outing to the area. This was Charlotte’s special request; she’s eager to see where Eloise lives.
Spontaneously, we jumped into a carriage drawn by a balck horse named Rebel. It was my first ride in a Central Park horsedrawn carriage…silly me…what have I been waiting for all these years? I suppose it seemed the thing tourists do, but since I was playing tourist, why not? We three were tucked under a big blanket while the snow fell about us. There were sledders on the hills, skaters on the ice, and couples strolling. It was a magic ½ hour and perhaps a new tradition.

Charlotte had seen the Carousel from our ride so we were off down the snowy pathways to find it. We reached for the brass ring whirling around the Carosel…rides are just two bucks and still make me search for Holden Caulfield’s orange hat among the trees. I rode the same horses as a kid for 30 cents; they’d been waiting for me. A favorite ride of long ago was one Thanksgiving after the parade…just me and my Dad wandering around the Park on a perfect fall day.

Next we strolled past Wollman Rink to watch the skaters and then up to the Children’s Zoo. We caught the animals of the Delacorte clock going around at 12:30. We walked as if we hadn’t a care in the world. None of us admitted that we couldn’t feel our toes in the frosty weather!

They say 25 millions folks make it to the park each year…be part of the fun. It’s a gem in the cityscape. If you aren’t familiar with its history here’s a link to a brief and informative write-up
I studied the Park and its development as part of my urban design coursework. A favorite class at NYU was spent surveying the park’s assets and features. I resuscitated that knowledge…googled my own memories…to play tour guide to Hayley and Charlotte!

To learn more and pan your visit to the park check out … Also, here’s a super cool spot on the official Central Park website… . You can take a virtual tour and zoom in to see special spots…visualize yourself in the Sheep’s Meadow, on the Great Lawn, watching “Shakespeare in the Park”, or seeing the seals at the Zoo.

And if New York is not nearby, or in your travel plans…go to your local park. Those that saunter through the parks here in town have something figured out. Stroll, wander, and potter about. The words are even quaint and laden with discovery.
xxoo Jen
...more soon on the rest of our adventure!


Theresa said...


It sound like you had a wonderful time. :)



KSedlak said...

Gosh, Jen
What a wonderful story of your weekend well spent with your niece and daughter. I felt as if I'd entered a story book, thralled in each word and never wanting it to end.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful day with us.

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