New York City

Central Park April 25th 2020

Central Park, April 25th, 2020, a day one month into New York PAUSE, the coronavirus shutdown, blossomed. It was like spring defying the darkness.

By David Stone

A walk in Central Park on a different April, 2020

When we took a two-year New York City hiatus, back in the Nineties, more than anything else, I missed our weekend hikes through Central Park. Not the great theatre, the bustling streets, the food and not the energy.

I missed Central Park, and I find now, it’s one thing the coronavirus seasons can’t take from me. Let me share some pictures.

Red Tulips, Park Avenue
Okay, so this one’s kind of an outlier, but these tulips were on Park Avenue. And they were so beautiful. Why miss ’em?

On the walk from the Roosevelt Island Tram to Fifth Avenue, we passed a lot of folks out walking. All New Yorkers. No tourists pausing at corners, orienting themselves, figuring out how to get into Bloomingdales.

Neighbors wearing every variety face mask. Distancing, mostly, 90% or so, but you never get 100% of people to go along with anything. 90% of New Yorkers complying, I believe, is a miracle about the magnitude of the fishes and loaves.

Fifth Avenue During PAUSE
Bordering Central Park, Fifth Avenue sidewalks were open for walking and early bursts of green.

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Wherever you went, you saw distancing. It was easier without tourists, of course, but playing by the rules usually meant a bench of your own.
Admiring the flowers in Central Park
Flower lovers and social distancing in Central Park.
If you’ve dreamed of New York City on a beautiful day without tourists, this was your day. No out of town visitors posing for selfies with public art.
Outside the Central Park Zoo
Most people complied, but you needn’t go far before finding someone ignoring social distancing and masks.
But watching the seal feeding in the otherwise idle Central Park Zoo was more often like this. Solo, pairs of small families with masks.

Off to the Meadows, Central Park, April 25th, 2020

Trees and flowers breaking into spring gave us all the breathes of fresh air we crave. And peace. Tranquility.

The trees were great, but what’s with the traffic cone? Saving a parking space?
Central Park Meadow, April 2020
You couldn’t miss how artfully people spaced, eager to enjoy the afternoon, committed to safety and neighbors.
But if we want to move back toward normal soon, we must stop this. Even a puppy isn’t worth endangering lives, stretching the shutdown a single day.
Conservatory Water
And there was this. A family with even the kids wearing masks at play. Passing guys old enough to know better, no masks and no distancing, even from the kids.
Fifth Avenue Flower Bed
So, this flower bed wasn’t actually in Central Park, but you could see it from there, right across Fifth Avenue.
Naturally decorated paths, perfect for walking and separating.
Families and friends doing the right things, keeping Central Park open, preserving our chance to thrive again.
April 25th, 2020
A peaceful approach to my favorite spot: The Conservatory Water. Countless hours watching people, water, ducks and boats…

Someday soon, we’ll grab a bench by the water again, not as concerned about how close our nearest neighbor is. Kids will hold remote controls, pointing into the water, while their boats skitter over the surface.

That’ll be Central Park, but it won’t be April. Or May. Or even June. And it won’t be the coronavirus year of 2020.

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