12 Degrees, 5 Faces and a Central Park Wedding

by Barrett

Here’s my view earlier this week from Belvedere Castle in Manhattan. If you look closely, you can spot the warmth of a wedding in action. The cold can bring out the best in New Yorkers in more ways than one…

On what felt like one of the coldest days of the year in New York City, my wife, son and I walked about Central Park last Thursday with two other families… friends from the Boston area. The three boys ran about care-free in 12 degrees like it was a summer day. As for me, I wondered whether I was getting frost bite.

We eventually arrived at Belvedere Castle and walked to the top to experience the big Central Park view. I observed a small wedding ceremony in progress at the edge of the pavilion by Turtle Pond. Incredibly, the young bride and groom weren’t wearing coats! At the conclusion of the ceremony, a crowd that had spontaneously gathered around broke out in applause and began to hum Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.
(Now, that’s a New York moment!)

We moved on, but it was so cold, I think I began having some difficulty seeing clearly. Perhaps the molecular composition of my glasses began to change in the frigid conditions?
(I can only imagine how those newlyweds felt!)

Three Hats, One Scarf and a Hood in Zabar’s
Our little band eventually took a brief respite to warm up in Zabar’s Cafe on the Upper West Side. As you might imagine, it was packed with locals, sipping hot chocolate, tea and coffee.

As I looked about, I observed a crowd of faces.
Faces of experience that relayed different conditions… joy… angst… confidence… uncertainty… and enthusiasm.

If you want to find a certain cross section of life in New York City… there it was… right in front of me at Zabar’s.

On this day, the cold had brought out everyone’s winter wear.
It was quite a sight…
I zeroed in on three great hats, a massive hood and one vibrant scarf.
And I was immediately drawn to the faces underneath.

I had my Panasonic Lumix LX10 camera with me, and I asked these five customers if I could take their pictures for this post. They were all game to participate…
(Another New York moment)

Annette and Hope




My New Year’s Resolution
I saw a spark in each of these faces. One of my friends called it an aura. It was this warm energy which compelled me to break out my camera.

I don’t really know their stories, but all five were interested in chatting and helping me out.
And I could see they all had a strong sense of self.
I was inspired.

As we enter 2018, these five friendly souls reminded me of the importance in nurturing and growing our own sparks… to feed who we really are.

There are any number of New Year’s resolutions out there.
But for me… I think it’s simply not forgetting to fuel the spark.

Everything else follows.

Thank you, Annette, Hope, Howard, Gerry and Judy.

Congratulations to those Belvedere Castle newlyweds, who I expect have warmed up by now…
…and Happy New Year!