Of course, no trip to New York feels right until you've gone uptown to the Park.
I still feel terrible about the carriage horses there. While I understand that horses need to earn their keep, having them haul around tourist in all sorts of weather in one of the most trafficked places on earth is not safe or by any means humane. In my time in NYC, I've seen a few slip-and-falls on wet pavement, rescued a dehydrated Belgian draft horse on 5th ave with help from an Andy Warhol film star (talk about a weird day...) and I've heard of a few too many tragedies involving cars and spooked horses.
It's sad to see horses out there in various states of unsoundness with ill-fitting harnesses as well.
Even on a slightly gray day, it's a beautiful place to walk.
I was incredibly fortunate that my first job when I moved to New York was teaching horseback riding lessons in the park. The stable no longer exists, but I feel like I got a unique start to my life here.
While the perimeter of the park keeps getting taller, it's still amazing how quiet it is on a weekday morning. A few tourist, but mostly runners and dog walkers. On the weekends it's a mob scene- especially the southern corners.
It's a great place to see birds other than pigeons as well. There are a few spots that are fenced off and left to go wild with brush, and you will see clusters of birders hanging out nearby.
I understand now why there's always groups of Europeans cooing over squirrels. They just don't have them hanging around their cities like you do in the US. I kind of missed them. Kind of.
"Taking pictures with your Ipad is the new Fanny Pack."
This security guard asked if I wanted to take his picture. Of course I did.
There are just. So. Many. Pigeons. Ugh. It squidges me out when they swarm like this. I always feel ultra special if I don't get shit on while walking by the Plaza.