Henry Hudson Park

Nov 8, 2023

I was sitting in the park the other day. It was just around dusk. My wife and I were chatting with a neighbor about this and that. There was a Little League Game going on just down the hill. The field was starting to get a little dark when all of a sudden the park lights turned on.
And, then in a flash they went off.

A minute later they went on. And, then they went off. This sequence contained for about eighteen minutes. First, it was weird. Then, it was strange. And, then I became convinced there was a Park Service Employee who was having a little fun. On. … off… on … off… on … off. Working in this park can definitely be a boring job. So, why not have a little fun on a spring afternoon? The kids continued to play ball. We continued to chat about this and that. It all went along pretty smoothly until it became annoying. But, nobody seemed to ask, “hey, what’s going on?”

So, I was wondering … are we all so numb to practical jokes that they no longer have any meaning? Did anyone wonder what the hell was going on? Or, was it just a timer that went array? Maybe this happens every night? Maybe the night critters come out and have a party?

The skunks, possum, coyotes, rats and mice and who ever else lives there. And, what about the homeless guy who owns a cell phone and a computer. Maybe he’s the cause of this mischief? Nah. He hasn’t been seen in the park so far this year.

Rumor has it he owns a big house and has a ton of money. So, I guess it’s possible he lives to play practical jokes on people in the park. Hey, it could be. While most of us live our lives in quiet desperation, this guy seems to dance to a different drummer. Maybe he just buys and sells stocks? Maybe he’s an on-line Life Coach? Maybe hi’s plotting a new world order/ Who knows? If he shows up again, I just might grab a seat on his bench and see what makes him tick.

I like cruising around the park. You meet all kinds of people and their dogs. One guy lives in a Charlotte Bronte house with a commanding view of the Hudson River. He’s smart, friendly and has a cute little dog. Another guy meets up with him and has a very tall dog. You’d think the little one would be afraid of him. Nope. They wrestle. And, the little one often gets on top. The big one is big enough to swallow the little one in one bite. But, It’s just a sweet encounter. Two unlikely looking friends who like to play fight.

Then there’s Madeline and Mocha. Madeline is in her 90s and Mocha is probably about 10 or twelve. Madeline is a Holocaust Surviver. It seems like they’ve been together forever. They walk about a mile around the park everyday. And, they take a seat on one of the benches. Madeline seems to know everyone. And, Mocha seems to bark at everyone. He’s pretty small and compact. Doesn’t seem to bite. But, he sure can make a lot of noise.

We passed three spry older women huffing it up the hill. A women called out to one of them. “Hi Gloria.” She looked at me as she passed and said her name wasn’t Gloria but, she’ll accept it as an acknowledgment. I called her Sally. She said, that’s fine, too.

We used walk by a lovely older black man who sat on the bench. We always exchanged pleasantries. I’m guessing he was retired and just enjoyed a good, relaxing sit by himself.

And, then there’s the lovely mailman (well, mailwomen). She parks her rolling mail cart by her side and carves herself a spot on a bench just before lunch time. She’s always chatting on her cellphone in Spanish, but always takes the time to say hello.

Miriam often enters the park with her big old and sick dog. Both have health issues. Both seem to help each other make it through the day. And, Shelly also has a big older dog. Shelly also has health issues. If you ask her how she’s doing her response could easily occupy the rest of your day.

And, then there’s Dan, the new and very cute little puppy and, a Romanian woman who works from home has a sweet companion dog.

Some people stop for a chat. Some people don’t stop at all. I wonder if Henry Hudson would walk a dog in his namesake park? Ahoy, Little Hudson. Time to do your business.