Last week I got to visit Central Park with several friends to hear the New York Philharmonic perform on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The orchestra, as is its habit, is playing in a park in each of the five boroughs this summer. Despite a light rain earlier in the day, the weather was absolutely perfect. The temperature, with resolute balance, could not be accused of being either warm or cool. A light breeze swished through the leaves as people gathered a couple hours before the concert, and the growing crowd soaked up the late afternoon sunshine on picnic blankets spread with cheeses, wine, and berries. At least, that was what was on my neighbors’ blanket. I’d had a quick peanut butter sandwich before leaving the apartment, so all I brought was an orange and some water. Who likes cheese and berries anyway?
In the festive atmosphere, the music (a Mendelssohn symphony) seemed more of an afterthought, the icing on the cake of a city-wide picnic on an early summer’s evening. Cocooned Swadled in a perfectly air-conditioned concert hall with tree trunks for columns and a sweeping canopy of deep blue, and bathed in the refreshing after-rain scent, our bare feet burrowed in the soft leafy carpet, we rested in the pulsing green heart of the island-city of Manhattan.
Here’s a view looking north toward the stage. This picture reminds me of last year’s movie, August Rush, which has a pivotal scene of the New York Philharmonic performing in Central Park.
This photo gvies a better sense of the crowds. This was about one-third of the way back. As the time drew closer to eight o’clock, the seated crowd grew so thick that it was difficult to walk between picnic blankets.
This picture is taken from the same spot as the second picture, only it’s looking south toward the back of the “concert hall.” One can easily see the buildings facing the park along Central Park South, nearly a mile and a half away.