Silly sod – growing roots temporarily

If you’ve ever watched Project Runway, you’ve no doubt heard of Bryant Park. It’s normally a quiet little refuge from the push and shove that is New York City, directly behind the Public Library (yes, the one with the lions), about a block from Times Square. In addition to a carousel, a fountain, and dozens of people playing chess, it has a large, wide open lawn. It’s a wonderful place to get away from the office and eat lunch. It’s also, apparently, a nice place to host fancy, posh events like Fashion Week.

They don’t hold it on grass, of course. It is in a tent, but heavens forbid some fashionista got her Manolos muddy, so they set up platforms to put the tent on, covering the entire lawn. This, naturally, kills the lawn.

Witness the devastation wrought by hordes of teenage girls (and their moms) in the aftermath of a free, Good Morning America, Jonas Brothers concert. What you’re seeing is mounds of paper cups, soda cans, croissan’wich wrappers and other detritus that was carried in, but, though relieved of their contents, somehow became too heavy to carry out, being raked into piles for collection. Though perhaps it’s not their fault – all those lovelorn teens had discarded their hand-lettered cardboard “we love you [Jonas Brothers band member’s name]!!!” signs, having failed to attract any of their attentions, and had filled all the garbage cans – both of them.

It’s also an ideal spot for a skating rink. Citi, who apparently has enough money left over from buying my account from Wachovia, sponsors the construction of “The Pond.” As most of us understand “pond” to be a body of water with, typically, more than 4 inches of water in it, and since there are no permanent structures, man-made or otherwise, for containing water in Bryant Park (besides the fountain), they build a hockey rink on top of the lawn and have the hubris to call it a “pond.” This, and all of the support platforms around it, also do not do nice things to the lawn.

Still, it’s nice to have a little, virtual winter wonderland, with all the little push cart shops that get set up lining every square foot of the mall. They make it look very pretty for the Christmas season – which, we all know, starts during Fashion Week.

Well, not concurrently, of course. After all the Ugly Betties in their LBD’s (that’s little black dress, if you’re a guy) and the pencil thin queens who think merely being gay conveys an innate fashion sense (I’ve lived with gay men – it doesn’t) have packed up their swag bags and gone home, they take down the [climate controlled] tent, dismantle the platforms, then restore the park to its former [non-barricaded, non-power-cable-entwined] glory.

For about a month.

And we come to the purpose of this post (you knew there had to be one): Between Fashion Week, which runs until Sept. 12, and the opening of the “Pond” on Oct. 24, they take a few days to get a whole team of landscapers out and re-sod the entire freakin’ lawn, almost a city block in size – before tearing it all up again. Oh, they even post little signs around the [now roped-off] perimeter that say, “please keep off the grass while the lawn establishes a new root system” …for at least two weeks, after which we’re destroying it for a skating rink and café.

It’s a public park, but it’s privately managed by a company that’s privately funded, so I can’t really complain whole-heartedly about the wastefulness. Still, I think there’s better things that can be done with that kind of money.

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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