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On Blogger Hill

UPDATE: I am immesely proud to be part of this picture. It's the first collective photograph that I've ever belonged to with my heart and soul.

For some time, I've had plans to get together with the Ganome when he came to New York for the GB:NYC4 meetup on Bear/Blogger Hill in Central Park. In other words, today. The Ganome called just before noon, from the Port Authority. We agreed to meet at the Met, which is, among other things, not too far from Central Park, being in it. He arrived with his boss, the Butter Monkey. The Monkey is a few years younger than the Ganome (ie our children's age), but smart as a whip and extremely pleasant to talk to.

When we'd finished our lunch, I asked my friends if there was anything that they wanted to see in the museum before heading out, because I could probably take them straight to it. I am so abominably conceited about my familiarity with the museum's layout. But I didn't get to show off today, because what they really wanted was directions to the Sheep's Meadow. I was only too happy to walk them there. I didn't yet know where Bear/Blogger Hill is, because I hadn't planned to attend one of Joe's weekly retreats. But I know how to get to the Sheep's Meadow, and we walked all the way round it - a complete circuit! - before finding that the Hill is very near the Naumberg Bandshell, which we'd passed earlier. But we did find it. I was privileged to introduce the Ganome and the Monkey to Joe. I met a few people and nodded to a few others whom I'd seen at other gatherings, but, having just met the Ganome and the Monkey and gotten to know something about them in person, I wasn't taking in much new information. One of the farmboyz took a picture of the group while I was there, and I'm in it, I suppose.

For the most part, I watched the rollerbladers at the base of the hill. There were very gifted dancers, such as Disco Grandma, who performed as if they were Olympians on the ice. There were character dancers, like Bladey, wearing loud costumes (I got to see Bladey's arrival on his clownish bicycle, announced by its throaty klaxon). There was a wonderfully chunky middle-aged woman who had no moves at all. She just huffed her way up the gentle slope and stood still on her skates coming down the other side. My favorite act was Bottle. Bottle is a very graceful and well-built black man who, in addition to his skates, wears only a pair of very exotic harem pants and two wristbands. He's called Bottle because he likes to glide along with a liter of bottled water standing on his head, but unattached to it in any way. If he could find a more artistic vessel, he would look like something out of the old Ballets-Russes. He and Bladey danced together a few times, side by side. I applauded a few times, although that generally wasn't done.

So there I was in Central Park on a Saturday afternoon, surrounded by interesting guys and overlooking an appealing spectacle. The weather was perhaps a trifle warm, but there was a lovely breeze, and I was comfortable enough.

At about four-thirty, I said goodbye to all and went to catch the Third Avenue bus. As packed as the Park was, the Upper East Side was empty. Neutroned! We've entered the Hamptons season. 


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And very grateful tourists we were RJ. Not just for the directions either, but more for the excellent company. I am looking forward to making it down to NY again before the summer is out to get a tour of the museum from you and a chance to view the park from the roof. Thank you again for some wonderful conversation and for smoothing the way with introductions.

I had a wonderful time as well. Thank you so much for your gracious company!

I'm about to send off the pictures I took of you and the Ganome. :)

It was an honor to meet you on Saturday. I found you to be quite the interesting gentleman.

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