Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, I walked in Central Park. I was heading for The Ramble and should not have been surprised when I saw the main paths into it fenced off with barricades and yellow Caution! Cuidado! tape and notices explaining that it had not yet been cleared of damaged limbs from the late October snow storm. The park had to scramble to be ready for the New York Marathon, and the main roads must have taken priority. But I found a way in, skirting a lawn and walking through the trees, paying extra attention to anything above me.
It was a wonderful way to experience this wooded heart of the park. No one there, for the most part. An elderly man who asked me how my eyesight was, and was that thing a raccoon, high up in the tree? I said no, it was probably a squirrel nest (drey!). We parted, warning each other about suddenly falling branches.
Leaves covering paths, the occasional whine of a distant chainsaw. A homeless man and his belongings in the rustic gazebo, and all around us the yellow, bronze, sunset and bright colours of a northern autumn.
And after I left The Ramble I did what I always do on my own in the park. I found a hot dog stand, asked for a dog with mustard and ketchup, and ate it.