Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Open the Gates

I went for a run in Central Park at 5:30 this morning with Cassie. Looking east, the sky over Fifth Avenue was a deep periwinkle, and I felt very fortunate to live where I live, and do what I do. And with cool air filling my lungs, and my dog trotting beside me, and the majestic trees rustling, a moment last night when I bewailed my fate seemed absurd.

We didn't go through the gate below, which is on Fifth Avenue. Our gate is All Saints. There are also, according to an archived Times story, these choices: Artisans', Artists', Boys', Children's, Engineers', Farmers', The Gate of All Saints, Hunters', Mariners', Merchants', Miners', Pioneers', Scholars', Strangers', Warriors', Women's and Woodmen's.

The delightful gate names were bestowed in 1862 by Central Park's Board of Commissioners in honor of New York's many professions, they weren't chiseled on the park's outer walls until 1999. And they're not to be confused with Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, though that's where they took the name from.

For a thoughtful little essay by Rebecca Chace about Central Park's gates and a list of locations, go here.

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