I checked into my hotel near Times Square at 8th Avenue and 44th Street, dropped my bags, and headed out. I was meeting a college friend for dinner.
We settled on Bryant Park as the meeting spot, an urban oasis near the main public library — a short 10-minute walk away.
With my available few minutes, I snapped some pictures of a quintessential urban park, complete with cafe seating and towering trees. It was gratifying to see it alive and full of people. In the bad old days of New York City, the public shied away from these places that were overrun by drug dealers.
Whatever challenges NYC faces post-COVID, they pale in comparison to the 1970s and 80s. That’s when I lived in New York, where it was a rougher and dirtier place.
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2 thoughts on “Bryant Park”
Rougher and dirtier indeed. By the mid-1970s I didn’t want to go near the place. It felt like a real loss, probably because I hung onto a romanticized idea of the city based on a child’s viewpoint from the late ‘40s – early ‘50’s. Basically that of the marvelous cinematography of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”. Bryant Park was an oasis then, too. One best approached by riding a double-deck, open-air Fifth Avenue bus, followed by some time spent in the hallowed halls of the library.
I’m so glad New York has gotten better. The public deserves their spaces instead of the drug dealers.