The First Time

When I second moved to New York, I lived on East 17th Street, across the street from this park, Stuyvesant Park. I went into it frequently, sometimes to sit and read, other times just passing through on my way downtown. But in the year and a half that I lived there — and for that matter, in all the years since — I never walked down the sidewalk pictured here, on the northeast corner of the park. I just had no cause to.

I took this photo last Summer, as I passed through on the way to work (as you may remember from such posts as The Park Walk). It was then that, for some reason, I looked this direction and had the idea to write about how I’d never walked on this path.

That post quickly joined the others that I start but never complete, for one reason or another: sometimes I lose interest in the idea; sometimes it’s too tedious (even for me, who tags his articles “mundane” and “pointless”); and sometimes, no matter how I approach the topic, I just can’t get it to sound right.

Today something happened that changed all that. But first I must digress.

The eastern and western gates to the park have been closed lately while renovations were taking place inside; only the northern and southern gates were open. Today, however, the eastern gate was open so I went in. The western gate was still closed though, so I was left with only one practical choice: to exit through the northern gate.

There I was, about to walk down a stretch of sidewalk upon which I had never tread.

There was nothing momentous about it — I simply walked it and out of the park. But I remembered this photo waiting to be published, so I wrote this story to accompany it.

The end.

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