An Ode to Central Park, and Urban Humility

A new anthology of musings by celebrated writers on Central Park has Frank Bruni thinking about the role of the park in the city, and the humility of urban life.
April 30, 2012, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Echoing themes on the topic of urban manners discussed recently in Planetizen by Ken Greenberg, Bruni writes eloquently on the "common currency" of public spaces such as Central Park, and their connection to the sacrifices demanded by urban living.

"There's a contract to urban life, and it's inked in humility. We agree to sacrifice some of our own will and many of our own whims to what works best for everyone involved. The music is turned down. The poop is scooped. The line isn't cut. The smartphone is put on silent."

"And we trade away private spaces for public ones, which bring us together-force us together-in a manner that tests and ultimately refines our abilities to get along. While the country dweller has his property and the exurbanite his yard, we in New York have Central Park."

Thanks to Daniel Lippman

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Published on Thursday, April 26, 2012 in The New York Times
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