Lame Adventure 325: Hanging Out in My Back Yard

I reside in an apartment in a Manhattan brownstone that is so rustic, I suspect that it was built shortly after the pilgrims dropped anchor at Plymouth Rock.  This past Saturday was possibly the best weather day of 2012, a day that was sunny and warm, with little humidity.  It followed an evening so cool and comfortable I entered a coma in my air condition-less hovel where I soundly slept twelve hours straight. I celebrated the advent of this glorious day by doing what else?  I purchased a tube of toothpaste.

Keep it simple.  Pass on complicated.

After completing my errand, I had no desire to return home.  I was feeling uncharacteristically nature-y having had my first good night’s sleep in a month.  Therefore I decided to hang out in my back yard, a place that is walking distance from my sanctum sanctorum, Central Park.

I walked up West 73rd Street where I indulged my Vespa fetish when I saw a lovely red one with a very cool black and red saddle.

Let’s go out on a date.  You do the driving.

Across the street stood the Dakota where Roman Polanski filmed Rosemary’s Baby in 1967.

Back door view of the Dakota.

The Dakota’s fence — a fence on steroids.

I enter through the West 72nd Street entrance and walk a narrow path where I see this tree.


I instantly think exactly what you’re thinking:

Me (and you):  Is this a Juniperus virginiana?

Our guess is on the money!

I walk further and see what I am quite sure is People-us On-a-rock-ana but I do not encounter a sign so I have to rely on my stellar powers of perception.

People-us On-a-rock-ana.

To my left is a whole helluva lotta green.

Want green and leafy? You’re in the right place.

To my right I see a cart full of plants.

Got marijuana? No.

Sheep Meadow is significantly more populated this day than it was when I last visited two weeks ago under a sweltering sun.

Sheep-less people-full meadow.

In fact the weather was so lovely it was possible to take a leisurely stroll in a black suit.

For an encore, don’t think about wearing a turtleneck.

I headed over to see the roller bladers showing off.

Anyone lose a water bottle?

This guy with all the joint protection was very good, not that it’s apparent in this picture.

This guy that looked like an accountant had great moves completely unapparent in this picture.

These guys are not performing a bro-dance with each other, even though this picture gives that false impression.

This may look like a pas de deux on skates but it’s not.

It’s even possible that this was the first and last time they ever met.

On my way to the band shell, I walked past statues of Victor Herbert, an early 20th Century composer, and Beethoven with a nymph, possibly symbolizing a 19th Century groupie.

This guy was The Man in the early 20th Century.

Beethoven remains the man in this century.

I also encountered a quartet of modern day musicians that sounded great.

Modern day quartet playing classical drums.

There was a crowd gathered in front of the band shell.

Hm, what’s going on over here?

They were watching these very acrobatic dudes showing off impressively.

I’ll attempt doing this in my next life.

They asked two boys in the audience to participate.

Kids doing exactly what they’re told by dude in red shorts.

How was your visit to Central Park Young Fella? Okay, some guy jumped over my head.

Then, they resumed their acrobatics

Easy for him to do!

I popped an Aleve and moved on where I next encountered the soap bubble dude.

Big ass soap bubble!

Mr. Bubble.

I made my way over to Bethesda Fountain.

I was not alone.

Boating rentals did well.

Boaters boating.

As did the professional photographers.

Cool day to wear hot pink.

This guy was in a world of his own doing yoga moves.

Maybe he’s listening to Victor Herbert on his headphones.

A surefire way for me to pull a hamstring.


If I tried this I’m sure I’d bounce off the ball.

I thought:

Me (thinking):  Now I’ve seen everything … and a gondola?  Am I in Venice?

The Central Park gondola.

The boaters were heading towards the boathouse where I’ve been known to pound a beverage from time to time. (hiccup)

Central Park Boathouse.

Here’s the Trefoil Arch.

Trefoil Arch.

I did not walk under it.  Instead I headed for the Ramble, a place that in the not too distant past was notorious for gay male cruising.

Family friendly ramble.

Now it’s considered one of the top bird-watching locations in the US.

All I encountered was a guy serenading his girlfriend with his guitar, a squirrel and one lone robin.

Guitar man.

“Hurry up, photograph me, I’m on the hunt for dinner!”

“Whatever you do, don’t make me look fat.”

I could hear a chorus of birds singing in the branches, but I couldn’t see any of them.

“Hey, if anyone wants to show up for a picture, I’ll send you copies!”

So I photographed a squashed orange safety cone and moved on.

I agree. Not the most photogenic sight.

I then walked down a dirt path, not one of my favorite things in life, since I much prefer concrete and real stairs or an escalator.

Goodbye civilization.

The path led straight to the mouth of the lake but I firmly planted my foot to ensure I would not belly flop into it.

Firmly planted foot in blue Jack Purcell badminton shoe.

Boaters enjoying their idyll as city waits in the background.

I resumed my hike and saw some flora the botanist in me called the ouchy pointy plant.

Trip and fall into this might feel equal to embracing a porcupine.

I also encountered that robin again for I am sure that’s the sole robin in this 1.3 square mile park.

You can’t be serious.

I saw a stream.

Or is this a babbling brook?

And Turtle Pond, the place where there’s all you can eat green algae.

What a time to be without a spork!

I saw the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, something I had no idea existed – puppets in my back yard!

Swedish puppets only steps away from my humble abode!

I walked past Shakespeare’s Garden, not that the Bard ever saw this patch of foliage himself.

Greens for the Bard.

The Delacorte Theater where free Shakespeare in the Park is staged was doing sound checks.

Terrific outdoor free theater — if you can get a ticket.

Hey Romeo & Juliet, get a room!

Don’t mess with this guy.

Meanwhile more fresh air lovers were hanging out on the Great Lawn.

Great Lawn under beautiful blue sky.

I hope whoever is assigned to mow it has access to a lawn tractor.

The ducks were taking it easy, too.

We love this weather and, oh yeah, quack.

So were the turtles in Turtle Pond.

“MIchael Phelps has nothing on me!”

Here’s Belvedere Castle, no big city park is complete without its castle.

Just a castle in the big city.

Then I headed home to brush my teeth.

Think I’ll take the scenic route back.

50 responses to “Lame Adventure 325: Hanging Out in My Back Yard

  1. Thank you for a walk in the park ;–)



  2. love your little tour of your city! now i must visit!


  3. Loved following you through Central Park!


  4. Thank you for the walk. I’m feeling refreshed. And entertained!


  5. I love your tours, LA. I actually haven’t been to Central Park in a while. But Turtle Pond is one of my favorite places so thank you for getting a turtle in there! And mazel tov on your first full night of sleep!!


    • There are a lot of turtles in there, but I only posted the pic I took of the hammiest one. That guy was definitely King Turtle. I’m sure if he could bark like a dog for attention he would not have hesitated to do so Weebs. Yes, sleep is the 8th wonder of my world.


  6. I can’t believe I missed the one nice NYC day in July!


  7. Excellent as always but that photo of the Boathouse brought back a certain windex martini flashback!!!!


    • I did think of you and those ghastly cocktails when I took that picture. I also thought about that time we saw that guy fall in the lake, that crazy lady demanded you do something about it and I acted like I didn’t know you.


  8. Haaaa..I have no memory of the guy falling in the lake but it sounds like a daily misadventure you and I would share on our cheap ass al fresco dirty dog lunches in the park – every time you & I entered Central Park we morphed into Abbott & Costello and were subject to every loon within a nine mile radius!


  9. Sheesh no I don’t – damn all those dirty dogs must have killed my brain cells! But I do recall every gin soaked lunch we had at O’Neills!


  10. as much as I enjoyed your tour of my old stomping grounds, all I really want right now…is a pair of those navy Jack Purcells…


  11. Thanks for the mini travelogue of your back yard. Glad to see there’s a positive trade off to the lack of AC. Aside from the squirrel all seems idyllic. D#2 will not be allowed in your backyard per order of NYC parks department.


  12. That was so cool! Thanks for sharing your photos with us!

    (After I saw “Rosemary’s Baby” in 1967, I slept with the lights on for a week.)


  13. What a relief to know your dental hygiene is in order, and thank God you didn’t have to resort to an online order of such products again. Plus, you are such a naturalist! Damn–what’s happened to you, woman?


  14. Nice. So that’s where our sunny day went. At least it wasn’t hot here in Delaware. Love the Juniperus virginiana. At least there’s a tree left in the world. Our church across the street chopped down three Norway spruces a couple of years ago. I published a letter to the editor in our town newspaper, reminding the church vestry (if they can read) of the lines from Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.”

    I love greenspace; thank God for F.L. Olmsted and the city for creating such a park.


    • Central Park is quite an oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle. I’m very lucky to live just walking distance from it. Messrs. Olmsted and Vaux did a good job that continues to stand the test of time.


  15. Nice show=think that dam robbin’s in my backyard now!


  16. Thanks for the hike around Central Park! I have been to NYC many times and have never hung out there.
    I am going to make sure I stretch out so I don’t wake up all stiff-like tomorrow after all that walking!
    I love your commentary and the introduction to all those new species. And what was up with that robin? Was it stalking you?????


  17. I love your photo essay. So jealous of this Lame Adventure Nature Outing 🙂 I particularly like the acrobatic dancer, the boats and the bubble guy…bubbles they’re simple but they rock.


  18. Snoring Dog Studio

    What a wonderful visit I had here! Thank you for this. The commentary makes it even more enjoyable. I love that this is all in your backyard – such variety!


    • I was tempted to take pix of people that had set up easels that were painting landscapes. They made me think of you. One guy was swathed in so much sun block it made me think of how long distance salt water swimmers grease themselves up. That was a bit ew but I’m sure he didn’t broil.


  19. What a great walk in the park … and you are a great tour guide!


  20. Thanks for taking us with you on this little journey. It was a real eye opener for this hillbilly in the Ozarks. My eyebrows perked up when you used the phrase ‘sanctum sanctorum’ as I had only heard it used in Masonic ritual and lectures. Looks like you have your own little slice of heaven right outside your door.


    • You’re welcome Russell and thanks for commenting. Central Park is quite an oasis that’s just a short walking distance from my garret — one thing I cannot whine about. Also, it’s always cooler in the park — something I highly appreciate. This is the site with a reputation for welcoming oddball words and expressions.


  21. What a great backyard. I paid a lot of money to see that for just a few days a few years ago…and how little of it I really saw. Feel as if I’ve had a nice walk round the park myself now. That yoga guy was just amazing. Makes you want to run off, get a great big squashy ball and salute the sun, though the effect would be more like Hot Pink Girl than Cool Yoga Guy.

    Loved the ouchy pointy plant. We don’t have them here.


  22. Central Park was my backyard once, back in the eighties. I used to sunbathe in sheep’s meadow. Got caught in a lightening storm row boating once. I’m further up now, so I appreciate the stroll through.


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