Sober City Parks

I Dated Captain Ron for Three Years


Park distractions… does the woman on the right look serious enough to be a Marine? She is out of formation and appears to be giggling…

I finally hooked up with a women’s walking group this weekend in Riverside Park (“thanks” Jan, for setting it up). Riverside Park has a wide sidewalk and it runs along a pastoral riverscape that looks a bit like the Thames, complete with rowers a-rowing and swans a-swimming. The river and pond were overstuffed with runoff and the trunks of the weeping willows were underwater. There was a troop of Marines running with flags, all manner of dogs on leashes and little girls with kitty-cat, pink helmets on trikes. That wonderful expectancy clung to the air that only happens in the first few days after a long, cold winter. It reminded me of the time I was living in London, when Kim came to visit.

We went running in Hyde Park and Kim was like a crazy person, going in circles around me on the mall because it was “chilly” in early summer and “flat”. I think I was suffering from a hangover. The night before we had hit Nobu. As was my wont in those days, I had drunk several bottles of wine with our overpriced sashimi. I have always been a halfhearted runner, even in the best of days, and I was shuffling along – attempting to look athletic.  I remember Kim saying to me, “You are running so slowly, it feels like we are marching or running in place…” Cheek. Maybe I was patterning after the Horse Guard with their steeds that pranced without moving forward.

What I am trying to say, is that walking or running in a city park is a great way to get exercise without suffering, because there are distractions (see “Marines running” above). I remember in Hyde Park, I used to pass everything from people making out in rose gardens; to runaway, rider-less horses; to Bishops with full cassock and mitre.

And company. It’s nice to have company when you walk in a sober city park.

Today I’m not drinking because I am ATHLETIC (when distracted…)

How come you’re not drinking?