One of my favorite activities in New York, whatever the season, is walk in Central Park and read. But I’m not talking about books, also because for as much as I like to sit under a tree with Hemingway unfortunately it’s something that can’t be done all year. No I’m talking about benches.
I like to stroll through Central Park and read the benches, or better the inscriptions in the plaques on the benches. Many New Yorkers take it for granted, others have never noticed, tourists find it curious perhaps, I found it romantic and sweet in many cases.
There are plaques with simply a name, there are plaques in memory of deceased loved ones, lovers of New York and the park, there are plaques for birthdays and plaques for retirement, there are those for the birth of a child and for the early demise, or for the death of the dear four-legged friend. Then there are my favorites, which have imprinted love forever. Someone decided to celebrate their grandparents’ 50th anniversary donating a bench to the park and someone instead proposed writing it on a silver plate.
Walking through Central Park and read the benches is a bit like watching a movie or reading a book and the great thing is that every time you can imagine the whole story based on two simple sentences, or even just a few words. Every time I stop to read I never know if I’ll cry for sadness or I’ll be touched by sweetness, or I’ll start laughing ‘cause someone has a sense of humor and decided to share it with us.
Central Park with its benches is a real emotional journey, a few seconds stop in people’s lives, and you can not escape unharmed, it leaves something inside you and you want to keep reading. Exit the park is almost sad.
Obviously anyone who has donated a plaque on a bench is not part of the world like us mere mortals, as you can learn on the website of the park, thanks to the program “Adopt a bench” , the 10,000$ needed are kind of unapproachable for most of us but hey, love is love however is expressed and yes, maybe a diamond is forever, but a bench in Central Park … it’s just terribly, romantically timeless!