First Snowstorm Hits Central Park

A freezing mixture of snow, sleet and rain made for rough going around Central Park Friday as more than four inches of the white (and sometimes gray, slushy) stuff blanketed the park. Intrepid park visitors still slogged their way around to visit during the storm.

Park visitor Rem takes a moment to pose near the Reservoir. Some park goers even took the time to leave a cheerful record of their visit. This representation of an Upper East Side family visiting the park even has its own Christmas Tree. Its verisimilitude is completed by the eerily perfect representation of an unimpressed adolescent.

Of course not all of the events surrounding the arrival of the season’s first snowfall were so innocent and colorful – take a minute to check the previous post.

Carriage Horses Forced To Work In Snowstorm

Yesterday morning, at the height of the winter snowstorm, horse were forced to work pulling carriages along dangerously icy streets. This in complete violation of the law. When called at 10:00 AM the ASPCA insisted that the horses were not working. Donny Moss, the producer and director of Blinders: the Truth Behind the Tradition, was on Central Park South taking video. The ASPCA seems to be woefully out of touch.

More interesting videos: They show consistent overcharging – particularly now that it is the holiday season. The going rate is $34 for 20 minutes. There is no sales tax.Yet the drivers ask for a tax from unsuspecting tourists.

As a warning this second video includes offensive language – so beware.

Annual Central Park Bird Count

The 109th annual Central Park Bird Count was conducted Sunday afternoon. The count is done each year to track the number and type of birds found in the park. . . . → Read More: Annual Central Park Bird Count

Park in the Dark

One of my favorite things to do in Manhattan, and I know I risk seeming a complete geek by relating this, is to run around the Central Park Reservoir at sunset in the wintertime, the geeky part being I love listening to Garrison Keillor on NPR while I do it (although Peter Gabriel and Tom Petty come a close second). There is something about watching the crystal clear depths of the night sky as it darkens around the skyline (New York City dressing for for the evening) juxtaposed with the (admittedly) corny intimacy of an imaginary radio broadcast that somehow brings together everything I love about my life in one brilliant, breath-fogging, layer soaked moment. My other favorite thing being the last set at an intimate jazz club, a favorite piano player and a lot of old friends in ugly hats (jazz thing) sharing the sublimity. I like to think that the nerdy-ness of the first is balanced by the tragic-coolness of the second.

In any case this practice is especially magical the next two weeks, not to mention a very inexpensive holiday treat. For the next two weeks The Prairie Home Companion will be broadcasting from the Town Hall theater on 43rd St. here in Manhattan. Tonights performance included Michael Feinstein, Metropolitan Opera Tenor Raúl Melo, and the soulful jazz vocalist Inga Swearingen. So, imagine, running around the reservoir, gazing down across the water towards the skyline below and listening to a hysterically funny sketch about opera. No really. . . . → Read More: Park in the Dark