When you’re a South African running in Central Park
Ermahgerd, running around in track pants with paint splatters on them and a greying University of Stellenbosch hoodie. Akin to a scruffy vagabond and completely out of place on the spandex mile among all the fit New Yorkers in their active wear.
I was secretly thinking back to those paparazzi snaps of Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal in Central Park, she smiling widely in a beanie with those golden ringlets peeking out. He too was beaming in the autumn park, as they cozied up to each other. One of them was cradling a take-out coffee, as I recall, and there was much media speculation about a particular Burberry scarf. Point is: this is a beautiful place to be in love. Which, for the record, I am not.
On to the ducks, ponds, statue of Hamilton, tourists, dogs great and small, a Chinese monk in mustard robes checking his phone, finches, signs for Bridle Lane, then a Russian mother pushing her newborn in a stroller while talking to her own mother, two Yorkies – or is it Yorkers here – scuttled alongside in little windbreakers. Even the dogs wear The North Face here.
And trees in all the colours. The leaves beneath clouds of grey were in spicy hues: paprika-dusted ones with wide canopies; thin, spindly ones with tumeric leaves like baubles on the tips of needle branches; deep auburn leaves of saffron on tall, old trees; and then, magically, the soft descent of salt crystal snowflakes.