Last Sunday began as the perfect NY spring day. The sun was shining. The Leafs had lost the night before but were still in the playoffs, and The Guy (TG) made us pancakes and eggs for brunch. I felt like I was in a Neil Diamond song.
After reading the paper and finishing brunch, TG and I opted to go to Fort Tryon Park to do the Crossword Puzzle. Yes, for those of you who don’t know, this is the greatest indicator of my state of being – I now share the NY Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle. Never in my life have I shared that puzzle and had you asked me four months ago, I would have sneered at the mere notion.
But I digress.
Inwood is the hilly part Manhattan and Fort Tryon Park is basically one big-ass landscaped hill. I could pretend that I’ve spent lots of time there, but that’d be a lie, I’ve been once. It’s pretty. There are trees.
We strolled up and veered towards the east side of the park, TG said he knew a spot with a bench that had a great city view. While going down the steps towards this perfect spot, it sits lower than the footpath, a woman and her very large, unleashed rottweilerish beast of a dog come into view. By the time we hit the plateau she and the beast were fully visible.
Please be wearing a bra, please be wearing bra I find myself muttering over and over again. Why? Her arms and belly were bare and her shirt was hanging from the collar like an infinity scarf, the fabric draping casually over her boobs.
With an arm outstretched, and finger shaking menacingly, in a thick Eastern European accent she shouts “What you want see here?” WOOF WOOF WOOF goes the beast.
Rather than run away from the crazy lady, I try using a tone of voice that conveys sarcasm, derision and disdain. “Well, we were going to sit on that bench and do the puzzle, but I guess not.” She points back up to the walking path and commands. “You go there! You go there!” TG being the smarter one of us two, never made a move to engage, he just held my hand and led me outta there.
When we were a safe distance away we turned around to see what we could see. And there was Crazy, completely topless, doing her stretches in the very public Fort Tryon park. Please note it was not 8am, it was NOON for christ’s sake, and we are not in FRANCE! Go be naked, I don’t care, but not when I want that bench.
So TG and I crossed over to the Hudson side of the park, found a bench with a river view, did the puzzle, marveled at our brilliance and saw a cardinal.
What a city.