Friday, May 22, 2009

Here Comes a Regular

For someone who's not much of a joiner, I do like the concept of being a regular somewhere. Back in my late teens and 20s, it was at a fine old East Village dive called the Holiday Cocktail Lounge (that's it in the photo above), sadly no longer among the establishments left standing now that Stefan is gone. In my mid-20s to 30s, I was a park mom in the Tompkins Square Park playground -- also apparently no longer extant. It wasn't a glamorous society, but it saved my sanity pretty much every day and I still have good friends from that time.

These days, it's the dog run. I get home from work and feed the cats and change into a t-shirt and sweats, and then I get Dorrie all worked up: "You want to go to the park? You want to go to the PARK?" She is very clear in turn that yes, she does, and off we go through the convivial afterwork urban-suburban streets, saying hi to the neighbors as we pass, to our local: The Fort Independence Park dog run.

It's a nice spot, rolling and leafy, and a good group of people and dogs. We're the hardcores, the ones who were there every night all winter, when it was dark before I even left the house and the wind blew in bitingly off the reservoir. These days it's lush and cool after the heat of the afternoon ends, and we all lounge around on the benches and fall into the rhythms of talking about nothing in particular as the evenings stretch out. Like a bar with no alcohol, like a playground with no children -- there are children in and out all the time, but not ours, which makes all the difference -- and our dogs all know each other and can, for the most part, be trusted.
It's a pleasant part of the day, with work over and dinner not quite a worry yet; a pleasure but also, because of the dogs' needs, a necessity. We stay longer than we need to most of the time, but the concept of exactly how long that might be is up for debate. The dogs play, we talk, and it's all very agreeable and good for the soul. And at the end of the evening the dogs are tired, which was kind of our point all along.

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Blogger Debi said...

Awww...those are such great pictures. I really do envy you that dog park. Both because I know Mojo would love to have a regular spot to hang out with other dogs and because I would love to have a regular spot to hang out with dog-people.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Margarita said...

What can I say - the pleasure is all mine, or rather my dogs'. Not a joiner either, I was never there with my previous pair of dogs. But now is a whole different story. Hershey even brings a squeaqy ball and starts throwing it around the hallway, as if to say, hey, time to do the park now! Yes, sometimes it costs me my run, because I'd rather lounge and talk, but more often than not, it makes me get away from the computer and the worries, and they say in politics these days "hit the reset button." I really look forward to the park as much as the furry ones. And - great pictures!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Renee said...

I should take Harley to our dog park more often. I will make a point of it this summer.

8:56 PM  

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