Central Park in the Time of COVID-19

“Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting…” Songwriter Vernon Duke wrote these words in 1934. The full lyrics go like this:

Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first-nighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel
They’re making me feel I’m home

It’s autumn in New York that brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands may sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again

Autumn in New York, the gleaming rooftops at sundown
Autumn in New York, it lifts you up when you’re let down
Jaded roués and gay divorces who lunch at the Ritz
Will tell you that it’s divine

It’s autumn in New York transforms the slums into Mayfair
Autumn in New York, you’ll need no castle in Spain
Lovers that bless the dark
On benches in Central Park
Greet autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again

The first thing to note after that first line: the rest of the song has nothing whatsoever to do with the Central Park snaps below. Not to deny the thrill of first-nighting or the glittering crowds and certainly not negating the jaded roués and gay divorcées who lunch at the Ritz–far be it from me to do such a thing. No, a significant part of the wonder of New York is the ease  with which it accommodates all our worlds.

For me the glory of New York and autumn centers on Central Park: the leaves and the paths through them, the Pond and the Meer and the reflections filling them. To live in the city that attracts 60,000,000 visitors annually is a gift and  blessing. Despite the pandemic’s restrictions on travel I am already here. I am free to roam this this city and this park by foot or bicycle to my heart’s content.

Truly a state of grace and cause for continual thanks.











Harlem Meer

Published in: on October 30, 2020 at 4:47 pm  Comments (18)