Monday, July 27, 2009

Central Park Transformed

I live only a block away from paradise. Only a block away from my sanctuary.
I try and come here every day to admire God’s creations. The different kinds of trees, tall and short, the trimmed yet wild grass, the massive bodies of water, and most of all, the people. People of all walks of life come here. They, like me, are looking for salvation, some sanity in this mad city of New York. A man tries to fish unsuccessfully, a tourist stops to strike a pose, a native peacefully reads a book on a bench and an adventurous dog skips on, treating a squirrel like dinner. People are at their best, enjoying the sun, and the green leaves melted together with wildlife. I look around me, taking it all in and notice the trees trying to hide the tall buildings on the outskirts, but nothing gets in the way of overpriced real estate.

We arrive late afternoon in a group. I try to shake off an eerie feeling; I sense the madness resides here in my sanctuary. Teens jump up and down to the electronic beats, adults sway to the strobe lights and the stage is filled with life. If God was a DJ, this would be his favorite place to perform. Out in the open air people are determined to keep jumping. They drink beers in plastic cups and puff on cigarettes, nodding their heads in agreement with the beat. They solicit others for magic medicine, trying to seek comfort in an understanding face. They unfold the white paper and press it to their tongues, all the while trying to be unseen though they can’t even concentrate long enough to contemplate getting caught. The drugs are what fuel them on, causing their hearts to race and pupils to dilate into a stork-like stare.
The crowd jumps, all at once, lifted by the constant ups and downs of the machine generated umps. Bzzz,bzzz,ump,ump,ump, the DJ continues…The music takes the path of a volatile stock, taking the people with it. Up and down, down and back up. This is where nature and technology meet. Though this place is a product of man, it has long been controlled by God. The music, on the other hand, is all human synthesized. The craziness is present and is thick as the hot August air. I try and focus on people but they won’t stand still long enough for my eyes. The adrenaline from the audience starts rubbing off and I reluctantly give in to it, jumping up and down. I embrace the tunes trying to make them familiar until I am brought down by an ending song.

The sun begins to set and darkness becomes the park. The crowd is ecstatic as the massive LCD screens on stage come to life. They try and match colors to music, shapes to sounds. “Woohooo, wooohoooo”, they chant, louder and louder. I am swept up in the excitement, happily chanting along. I feel euphoric, almost high and jump higher. Though I have never seen Central Park in the dark, I feel secure. A sense of togetherness wraps around me, sealing in the atmosphere. This is truly a unique experience, one I will cherish forever. It’s not every day you get to see the acclaimed DJ Paul Van Dyk perform in Central Park, New York City.

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