Central Park: An Anthology

Edited by Andrew Blauner. Bloomsbury, $17 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-60819-600-5
"In a city where people can live sixty-three thousand to a square mile," Central Park is an escape, adventure, meditation, memory, and amusement, and this anthology, comprising the work of some of New York's literary luminaries, is a charming 21-essay tribute to what "is probably the most closely watched and monitored 843 acres on Earth." Marie Winn pens a funny letter to Holden Caulfield about what happens to the park's ducks in winter; Bill Buford tries sleeping there one night; and Nathaniel Rich gives the sentimental history of an annual Thanksgiving touch-football game (the "Turkey-Lurkey Bowl"). Others—Susan Cheever, Colson Whitehead, Adam Gopnik, and Paul Auster among them—fish for carp, run past Jackie Kennedy, befriend goats at the zoo, and explore the place "where nature is so beautifully and spectacularly kept on a leash." But it wasn't always so: the masterpiece of Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux was, at times, a "municipal embarrassment," the site of muggings, murders, and—rumor had it—"a nightmarish water fountain that dribbled raw sewage into the mouths of toddlers." It's clear, by the collection's range, that there must be at least as many Central Parks as there are annual visitors—and that's close to 40 million. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-2144-6
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-60819-742-2
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