Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Strolling Central Park

Image: Shakespeare watches over Tango dancers in Central Park

Caught a bus into the city and got off near Hunter College to attend Roller Derby in New York City! Yes, on Saturday night the Brooklyn Bombshells were meeting the Queens of Pain and I wanted to be there to see the clash. Unfortunately, so did hundreds of other roller derby fans, and since I had not bought a ticket for the event I missed out because it was completely sold out.

Gratuitous advice to visitors: If you want to see it – make sure you book it, or don’t be surprised if the event you want to see is sold out. It is New York after all, and the middle of summer at that. At least I will get another chance to see the teams clash again in August, and you can make sure I will book ahead for that one.

So what to do? Wanting to salvage something from a potentially wasted Saturday night, I headed off to Central Park where I was sure something would be happening, and it wasn’t long before I encountered a large group of people dancing in the park. Not just any old dance, though. They were dancing the Tango. I didn’t get the full details, but throughout the summer, free Tango lessons were taking place on Saturday evenings around the base of Shakespeare’s statue, and I had stumbled on the class. Of course, if you already knew how to Tango you were more than welcome to join in.

Image: Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

After watching the dancers for a little while I walked down towards Bethesda Fountain. Before reaching the fountain I saw another group of dancers. These were gyrating around a trio of percussionists who pounded out a steady rhythm of primal beats that kept the mood lively and the dancers sweaty.

At Bethesda Fountain, numerous visitors and locals where being entertained by a couple of buskers who were creating giant soap bubbles, and eliciting excited ooh’s and ah’s from an appreciative audience, especially when some of the bubbles where reaching lengths of two or three metres.

Image: Giant soap bubbles in Central Park

Later, as I retraced my steps back past the dancers to Fifth Avenue and caught a bus into Penn Station for a meal, I was happy to have made something out of a potentially wasted evening.

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