People who live near and around Central Park pay a premium. Some like looking out their windows and seeing the foliage during fall or the snow during winter, some like the convenience of walking in a huge park with the canine members of their families having enough room to run around.
However, come November of every year, the NYC Marathon descends upon this city and takes over the park (particularly Central Park West) like it’s their god-given right to intrude and impinge on the customarily predictable lives of the people in the neighborhood. And it’s not just the day of the marathon itself; it’s a week before the event of setting up all those bleachers and portable toilets and a week after hauling them away. For a total of two weeks, this disruption is endured by people who take pleasure in walking across the park to and from work, quietly walking their pets in the morning or evening and who enjoy the fleeting fall foliage of New York City.
But what is primarily egregious and incensing are not the activities surrounding this event but the utter lack of thought and consideration for residents in the neighborhood. Last Friday, on my way home from work, an event marathon volunteer chastised me for taking the same route which I have taken to get home for the last three years. Apparently, it was one of those blocked off pathways to accommodate this event. He had the perplexing gall to tell me that, “This is not the way home.” Does he know where I live?!? It was not a very pleasant exchange that ensued. Capitulating to the organizers’ utter lack of planning oversight, I walked all the way south then, cross the street, then all the way back north, only to be told by another volunteer that I walked too far north and that I had to walk a few blocks down to get out of the event space. WHERE ARE YOUR SIGNS??!!?? You brazenly interrupt lives of people and without thought, leave them in the dark as to how to navigate the maze you have perfunctorily imposed on them.