Ever since mankind ceased being nomadic, political and religious factions have fought over land. It’s a tale as old as time, even since before West Side Story.
But there is an untold tale of tribal land grab happening in a zip code close to home. Even though NY1 isn’t covering it, Central Park is home to a conflict. The groups involved are so fundamentally different in their desires, I don’t see how we can ever live in harmony.
Every Saturday morning, three factions set out to the Central Park loop armed with cameras, bicycles or just a sweat-heavy singlet. This land war is between tourists, bikers and runners.
Maybe I am being dramatic (would be COMPLETELY out of character) but yesterday I was attacked by wild pack of roving bikers. 50 grown men in matching spandex ran me over in Central Park at 72nd street. Their eyes showed no remorse. In fact, and while I couldn’t completely hear over Rihanna’s encouraging vocals, I am pretty sure that as they wheeled over my unsuspecting self, they yelled something less than complimentary. I wasn’t in the bike path. I was in completely neutral territory. The jerks!
Then come the tourists. They evidently don’t have bikes or runners in their lands or can’t recognize the painted shapes of them marking the lanes on the ground. While running full speed down Cat hill I nearly fell over a couple making out in the middle of the loop. If they wanted to invite me to a threesome, tripping me is not the most inviting entree.
While my allegiance is to the runners, I like to propose a solution. I call it “Don’t be an asshole.” We have to share the space. So if someone is in your lane, move around them.
A very skinny girl was running so fast I was certain she was actually some sort of GE experiment. She sped around the baseball fields in the park. A tourist couple walking arm and arm were ahead of her in her path. She yelled MOVE as she knocked into them. I think we all have to agree that would violate the “Don’t be an asshole” law. It’s never okay to ram into another human being. We invented bumper cars to deal with those inevitable urges.
The tourists screamed back, obviously alarmed by the sweating beanpole they were attacked by. I can only assume they tripped the next runner they saw. Don’t shoot Archduke Franz Ferdinand
So stand with me: Don’t be an asshole.
Needless to say, I am against horse carriages in Central Park.