On Wednesday night after work, I darted east across 40th street—at least as far as my legs and four-inch heels could take me in an attempt to catch Manhattanhenge. I didn’t make it past Bryant Park, but I walked up two more blocks to 42nd Street and looked in the direction of the sunset for what was supposed to be an amazing view. Unfortunately, there was really nothing much to see. A very mean cloud ruined the show by covering the lovely sun. After a short disappointment, I figured since I was already in Bryant Park, I might as well hang out! That is when I fell in love.
I’ve always found Bryant Park charming, but I never really realized how amazing it was until then. I understood at that moment, it was much more than a cute lunch spot around work in the summertime, or a place to buy cool gifts during the holiday season, it is one of my absolute favorite things about NYC. I started by sitting down on a side table, people watching because that’s always fun. There were many couples, small groups, and families, all enjoying themselves in a very laid-back, cool way. There were tables and chairs everywhere for whoever wanted to sit back and relax. The lawn was also open, and children ran across it every now and then. I looked up at the surrounding buildings and the tall trees that complemented them. It felt absolutely perfect to sit there.
I sat there without worry, well until a really well-dress man approached me and tried to convince me that he was homeless and then decided to hit on me. What can you expect? It is New York City we’re talking about here. That didn’t stop me from admiring the cute little park, so I decided to take a slow walk around it to see what else I could look at. I noticed there were a couple of ping-pong tables and equipments for the public to use, free of charge. People partnered up and played against each other, one of the games looked extremely competitive. After a while, I kept moving.
I noticed the “reading corner” where people can sit and read quietly. They provided books on a number of shelves. There was no smoking or phone calls allowed in the corner. It was well-lit, and people seemed to be making good use of it.
Past the water fountain, there were also chess games all set up for the public to use. I looked at the pretty lights on the little cafes and bars in the park, and kept strolling. I looked past all the tables, games, and people and noticed something that made my day.
In the distance I saw a girl hula hooping with one of the LED hoops surrounded by some friends and onlookers, and naturally I approached the small group. I would’ve run towards them, but I didn’t want to seem too eager. I was like a child who noticed another child playing with a really cool toy and wanted to be part of the fun. I approached, eased my way in or however you choose to look at it. I talked them for a while. I even got to use the hula hoop. That’s right, work dress, four-inch heels and all, hula hooping with a stranger’s hoop in Bryant Park. And they say New Yorkers aren’t nice.