A Spot of Green in a Grey City

It’s crazy, I think, that no matter what time of the year it is I feel like I’m being run into the ground. Right now, for example, I’m in the middle of my finals. Unlike most semesters, though, this semester seems to be all about papers instead of tests, and I’m still not sure if that’s an improvement or not. On top of that, I’m supposed to be finding a job — which I’m sure everyone can agree is almost harder than doing well in school. I think it’s different for people not in New York, though. Everywhere else is moving at a different pace than New York…like we’re always trying to catch up and move ahead at the same time, so everything is muddled and rushed and it’s hard to focus on anything.

My old roommate is commuting from Long Island to the city this semester, and she has an early final tomorrow. I’ve offered to let her stay here for the night, but she won’t get here until late (some people, apparently, take advantage of the libraries being open all night during finals), and I’m already exhausted. Not to mention my mind is on a million different things, none of which include cleaning the apartment and having some kind of breakfast offering in the fridge. I like to consider myself an adult, but I really don’t understand how “real adults” can multitask so efficiently when it feels like I’m stumbling along to get just one or two things done in a day.

What I need, and what New York happily provides when weather permits, is a peaceful day in Central Park. All too often we’re intent on doing something cool and exciting, or something flashy and expensive, that we forget that New York City offers one of the most peaceful places imaginable, for free.

Sure, there are dogs barking and kids running around, but I think that’s what makes it so perfect. Reading a chapter for a Literature class while a couple of guys play Frisbee is just the perfect college experience, as if Central Park is the communal college ground for every single university in the City. I used to be jealous of my friends who would show pictures of them sitting on grassy knolls at Rutgers, or lounging in the sun at Rider between classes, but it’s really everyone else who should be jealous. Central Park offers that unique melting pot that the United States is lauded for; on a nice day you can walk along the 5th Ave border and see a stand from the Strand, or buy a classic print of Aubrey Hepburn. Walking down one of the many paved areas, one will be surrounded by musicians of every different style imaginable. It’s easy to forget about these little things because we all take them for granted, but that colorful spot of green shown in every satellite picture of the city is really the best way to keep grounded, and entertained, in a city as fast paced as New York. And hey, maybe before finals are up we’ll see some sun again.

-Mary K

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