When you've climbed from the sweet smells of the Shakespeare garden up the steep but short hill to the second highest point in Central Park and you top the stairs to find a fashion model in a green and leopard patterned backless dress making snarly faces and monster hands at her photographer, you may think you've had a New York moment.
And when the glory continues with the stone one-way staircase inside Belvedere Castle, shouting "Coming up!" as you go and you grin at the view from the top of Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn beyond and the Delacorte Theater where they do all that glorious free Shakespeare and the gorgeous art deco Eldorado on Central Park West, you may think you're really queen of the hill, but wait.
Because when your daughter points out there's a wedding going on in the pavilion below and you watch with delight the happy faces of the guests, one holding a baby in a purple confection of a dress and the violin sings sweetly and you say to the girls, "It's two women getting married," you really have to pump your fist because sweetheart, you have hit the New York jackpot.
P.S. A few steps minute's walk and we saw this. Can anyone tell me why this sight of the Eldorado fills me with inchoate longing? Is it the serenity of the skyline across the water? Is it the illusion that the towers are more mammoth than their 30 floors? Is it the unconscious glimpse I've caught of them in countless movies and shows without knowing what they were? Was it just the pretty angle of the sun in the late afternoon and the shining clouds behind? I don't know, but I had the sensation of being thrown back in time and it made my heart ache.
P.P.S. To dear Christina: Hummingbird and Passionflowers by Martin Johnson Meade at the Met. Thinking of you!