You are currently browsing the stories about the Central Park neighborhood

Something About Turtles

by Thomas Beller 02/14/2004
Neighborhood: Central Park

There was a time, not long ago, when turtles enjoyed a brief vogue in New York City. Turtles whose shells weren’t much bigger than a silver dollar were sold on street corners all over Manhattan, and people crowded around to buy them. In the midst of this turtle trend, my friend Kip moved back to […]

The Going Away Party

by 01/31/2004
Neighborhood: Central Park

Michael had long used us as a test audience for his trendy nihilism, togging up in punk, new wave and goth to suit his status as a Parsons grad student. We, his undergrad pals from Syracuse, continued to feign shock, through ten shades of hair color, safety pins inserted in various extremities, kilts, bondage pants […]


by 07/16/2003
Neighborhood: Central Park

I was a New York City Urban Park Ranger usually stationed in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, but for this day I was detailed out to Central Park, the park of my childhood. In Van Cortlandt Park I knew where the hophornbeam trees lived in a valley of white oaks and tulip poplars. I […]

I Found a Man in Central Park

by 02/03/2003
Neighborhood: Central Park

I found a man in Central park. I’d been running around the reservoir on a weekend and needed to get home and shower. I wiped my T-shirt on my face, and bent down to tie a lace, and I heard a man telling a joke. I heard him telling the back-story about how this certain […]

Applause: The New York City Marathon

by Thomas Beller 11/03/2002
Neighborhood: Central Park

The New York City Marathon is fun to watch for several reasons. The leaves in Central Park are beautiful–still on the trees but fragile and colorful. It’s moving to see the look of physical pain on the runner’s faces. It’s moving to see that zoned out, exultant look on the runner’s faces. It’s interesting to […]

The Fire Spinner

by 10/13/2002
Neighborhood: Central Park

Our protagonist, Skunk, in action. Dan a.k.a Skunk and his girlfriend, Erin, pick me up on the corner of Broadway and 116th Street. Skunk briefly reminisces about his days at Columbia University: after a few years of "getting stoned and sitting on the couch" he dropped out and found what could be said to be […]

The Hustle in the Park

by 08/29/2002
Neighborhood: Central Park

When I was a kid we visited New York once or twice a year. I usually went with one of my folks and one or two of my brothers but we almost never went as a complete family. Back then we lived in rural New England, so it was always a big thrill to board […]

And the Winner Is

by 03/28/2002
Neighborhood: Central Park

I’m not much of a TV person. I am completely unfaithful to any one show or annual event, certainly anything like the Academy Awards. My theory has always been, why watch a three-hour awards show when I can watch E!, or some other all-celebrity network, and get the highlights in thirty minutes? But this year […]

Raccoon Killers

by 02/04/2002
Neighborhood: Central Park

On January 25 at 7:30 in the morning, two raccoons were found dead by Central Park personnel. One was found just below the reservoir and the other in the tangled stems of Shakespeare garden. Instead of just cleaning them up, as they might have done in different circumstances, they called the Urban Park Rangers. The […]

The Scene at Strawberry Fields

by 12/12/2001
Neighborhood: Central Park

A little before 2 a.m. on Saturday, December 1, 2001, I decided to check out the George Harrison memorial that fans were spontaneously holding at Strawberry Fields in Central Park. On my way I stopped by a deli on the southwest corner of 72nd and Broadway first for a coffee. Chun Kim, 43, a friendly […]

The Campers

by 11/02/2001
Neighborhood: Central Park

Growing up, there were certain inarguable rules Mom set forth to ensure her kids’ safety: don’t take candy from strangers, power tools are off-limits unless your Father is present, avoid the yellow snow, and never, under any circumstance, spend the night in Central Park. But over Labor Day weekend, my girlfriend, Kim, and I threw […]