Sunday, October 08, 2006

BEEE-autiful autumn afternoon

Some days are so beautiful it's a sin not to enjoy them. Autumn is often like that here. Today was a treat.
I worked during the morning then took the subway to the 6th Ave. entrance to Central Park. As usual the park was full of people, all also enjoying the day. I stopped at a deli and got coffee and a snack and was looking for a place to sit. Just before I found a perch on a rock I passed a couple on another rock, the guy, who was probably 140 was holding on his lap his girl who looked from my angle as if her hips added up to about 140, not counting the rest of her. But they were enjoying each other's company.
After my snack I walked past the big Sheep Meadow which was full of people in ones, twos and groups, all quietly soaking up sun. White garbed people were playing croquet in the enclosed court, always a strangely Victorian, elegant sight in the midst of the motley variety of others. Row boats were out in full flotilla on the lake and a topless [male] singer with guitar was conertizing to a sizable audience.
I knew there would be a street fair on Amsterday or B'way. First there was a crafts fair along Columbia beside the Natural History Museum -- beautiful stuff, and reasonably priced if one is going to spend money. I didn't.
The fair, sparsely attended and essentially dull was on Amsterdam. Since 9/11 Street fairs have gone into decline throughout the city. To many people they are a waste of time. Very little enticed me except cheap lipstick and eye liner. But I always like the sense that this is a echo of one of the earliest rites of civilization -- the coming together of those who have something to sell. Markets were going strong in Hellenistic times and probably a thousand years before that.
I watched a trim 60ish woman riding a child's scooter, and a very large and tall 50ish man on roller blades, people munching roasted corn on the cob and others getting covered with confectioner's sugar eating funnel cakes. Already overweight people munched French fried sweet potatos or stopped at the crepes booths for a sugar shock.
The market is flooded with what I once heard called "exotic real Chinese plastic beads." Everything priced at $2 -- and worth about twenty cents. A bunch of ladies are selling [possibly real] jade, lapis and fresh water pearls from Myanmar, and there are tons of "pashmina" scarves, most of which are neither wool nor silk but some are very pretty patterns and colors. And at $5 -- why argue? But I have a drawerful so I just looked enjoying the colors -- back to that subject!
Mostly I enjoyed the sun, the people, the ritual of getting out on a Sunday afternoon and doing nothing of any use ... enjoyment for it's own sake is enough. [I had my camera but didn't think to take pictures -- I'd have liked that woman crushing her boyfriend's kneecaps but didn't have nerve enough to impose.]

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