I had a free afternoon in NYC today, and at the suggestion of several friends headed out to Central Park for a run, rainy skies not withstanding. I had this urge to revisit the places of my childhood. The graceful steps up to the reservoir at 91st St., from which I always entered the park. The playgrounds where my other mom, Margaret Fischer would take me almost every day, the zoo, where I can still remember hearing the news that Alaska had become a state,and I could have sworn that the polar bear smiled at me (did he think that now his exile would be over? I wondered) . Having run around the reservoir, done my 100 pushups right here in the magnificent Shakespeare Garden,
admired the view from Luce's Castle and the Chess and Checkers Pavillion, I knew that I had one last place that I had to visit, The Carousel.
Yes, it has always been one of my favorite places in the park, but until today, I never really understood why I was always so drawn to it. But in reality, it's really where my life began. Not literally, but certainly figuratively.
Family lore has it that , after meeting my mother at a party in Connecticut, my father pursued my mother for 6 years until one day, he fufuilled one of her ultimate fantaties -- unlimited rides on the Carousel in Central Park. According to my mother, she rode around until she was dizzy, and when she finally got off, he proposed one more time, and she said yes. He apparently proposed right here:
I've long been planning to write the story of their lives and trying to figure where to begin. Today, the answer became obvious.