BRYANT PARK has always had a special place in my heart because it was a park I frequented when I first arrived in New York, 22 years ago. In fact, I saw it before I even set eyes on Central Park. For the last 14 years or so, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked first, right across from it, and the last 6 years, literally a hop, skip and a jump away from it.
My countless videos and photos of the park is partly what encouraged me to get on YouTube, and below are two recent clips I’ve uploaded of it. A third went up based on clips from earlier this year when the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain froze again. (That’s a video for another blogpost, but you can hop on over to my channel to view it here.)
I often find myself passing through the park when I need to get my ride from the express bus stop on its Avenue of the Americas side, and even seeing it from a distance evokes a feeling of calm and a sense of home. Within the first few weeks of my arrival here in the US, I would come to the city and stay in the park and go around while waiting for my companion going home. I also spent hours in the New York Public Library fronting it, accessing the internet through their public terminals. You used to be able to use one of their units for 30 minutes each day, as long as you had a valid ID. (Now the library has a “reading room” where you can park at one of their many tables and access the WiFi for free, but using your own device.).
So there were many days when I’d linger in front of the library or stay and sit in one of the many benches, chairs and tables in the park.
I shot my favorite video of all time of a 6 year old Angelo holding a tube of lipstick as a microphone in the park one summer day– which, to this day, warms my heart no end.
I’ve sat across a former boss during one of the toughest times of my life, who gave me one of the best advice I continue to treasure and live by. Sitting across from each other in one of those tables, she told me to make sure that whatever I do or decide in my life should be something I would be able to explain or defend in my son’s eyes.
I’ve walked arm in arm with a friend, all googly eyed, after lunch at Bryant Park Grill, and to this day, he remains a dear friend. I’ve sat in one of these benches with my best friend, Donna, the first time she visited me here in New York. So many memories through the years of relatives and friends I’ve brought to this oasis of calm in the bustling streets of Midtown Manhattan.
You can guess by now that these will not be the last videos of Bryant Park that I will take and post. I’m already excitedly awaiting the winter village and the next time the fountain freezes again.
As we YouTubers say, please don’t forget to like and subscribe!