Monday, January 11, 2010

Central Park at Dusk

I strolled through Central Park yesterday evening, as the light from a bright, sunny day quickly faded and the bitter cold air that nipped at my cheeks grew even more frigid. With very few people around and traffic disallowed on Sunday, my surroundings seemed unusually still as I headed deeper into the Park. The light changed so rapidly I could hardly keep up with it. With each passing minute, another old-fashioned street lamp lit up the darkness and the meager remnants of ice and snow lying on the ground caught the glow of those lights and reflected it back gently, unostentatiously. As the Park got darker and colder, fewer people remained, but they missed its serene beauty, its quiet romance. However, as the dark descended, it wasn't just the Park that became more alluring now; it was also the city just beyond the Park that grabbed my attention. As the lights went on in the hundreds of windows that seem to impose order on that monumental array of buildings that stands at the South of the Park, I could see a kind of Mondrian-like pattern emerge that was strikingly reminiscent of his Broadway Boogie Woogie, with its emphasis on constant motion and relentless energy. Standing in the Park in the cold in the dark, I seemed to be able to view that motion and that energy, to see it and hold it, even as I reveled in my own sense of peace and stillness. That push and pull of activity and stillness, of incessant movement and slowing to a halt, that, too, is New York, a New York that would simply be impossible without the miracle that is Central Park.

1 comment:

  1. Dusk is a wonderful time in the city. There's a magic in the transition from day to night that most city dwellers don't appreciate as they go about their business. It takes a contrast of settings as you describe to reveal the spell.
    In San Diego at this time of year we often have bright sunny days with off shore breezes that make the views to the west clear and sharp. As the sun sets a marvelous prism of colors sets up along the horizon, the blue, indigo and violet of the fading sky spreading up to the zenith. The little deck off our living room is just high enough to keep the bustle (such as it is) of the streets at bay as the windows in the high rises between us and the horizon wink on. A great time of day.