Monday, March 03, 2008

The T$ Memorial Reservoir (Or, Take Back the Night...Please)

I was in Central Park yesterday with my friend Torrey. We entered the park on the East side, uptown near the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

I'm not knocking Jackie herself...but the entire American way (or is it global way?) of naming every single thing after someone, is always good for a laugh in my book.

As we walked around the East edge of the Reservoir, I blurted out:

"You know, there's this pool of water that always forms on my bathroom sink. I like to call it the 'Trevor Messersmith Memorial Wading Pool'."

Naturally, I jog around it every morning...pondering my multiple lives as an American style spouse to an assassinated a kept man on a Greek isle...wandering to and fro in huge sunglasses and linen kaftans...trying to avoid Maria Callas's attempts on my life.

We walked down through the park and ended up exiting the park on the West side at 72nd Street. As we walked through some very down-low appearing paths near Central Park West, I couldn't help thinking about the Park's shady fairly-recent history.

Let's face it: Central Park had such a bad rap in the 1970s and 1980s, it seemed to be pretty much a guarantee that if you entered the park after dark, you'd be shot/stabbed/maimed/raped...probably in that order.

My never-ending adolescent sensibilities being as they are, I adopted a voice and persona while we were walking on these isolated paths.

Let's call her Gladys.

As Gladys, I said: "In the summer of 1978, I was raped ten times right here on this stretch of path. It was insane. My friends kept saying: 'Gladys, you're crazy! Stop going in the park at 2 AM in just a camisole!' But I couldn't help myself...oh, what a summer that was."

I'd write up some sort of disclaimer about how rape is never funny...but isn't random street violence what once gave New York City its now far-faded allure?


hello, my name is danny. said...

i also new you were a style icon! i shall name the pool of water that collects in front of the tub whenever we bathe the dog after you as well.

you are truly inspirational.


Tarek said...

I'm very ambivalent about romanticizing New York's past. Although it was more creative, dynamic, wild and fun, I'm also grateful that when I leave school at 2 AM and take the F train home, I wont get mugged (knock on wood.)

That said, I'm inclined to believe that people made New York seem much more dangerous than it actually was in order to give themselves of being bad-ass.

I used to go to Central Park at night a LOT as a teenager to engage in various nefarious activities. I'm talking about the dead of night . Nothing every happened to me--ever. That said, you can't rape the willing.

Darth Gateau said...

The small local airport in Liverpool, northern England was renamed John Lennon International a few years back - what a hoot. He'd be witheringly underwhelmed I'm sure.

In the same spirit, I'm renaming the dock upon which I live "Lake Lavender" and the surrounding gardens as the George Michael Park for Gay Recreation...

Big Daddy said...

I dunno.

There's parts of the park I would feel scared being in at night.

Like that wooded, hilly area by The Dakota.

T$ said...

HMNID - thank you for the honor, as always!

Leni T - Du bist die ursprüngliche badass Sexbombe.

DG - heehee.

BD - that area near the Dakota is exactly the stretch that inspired me.