Sunday, May 22, 2011

There's a Forest in Times Square

A few weeks ago, I was doing my usual I’m-a-New-Yorker-don’t-get-in-my-way charge through Times Square when I noticed a fairly uncommon occurrence in the middle of what most people call the Concrete Jungle.  Smack dab on top of what is usually a line of theatre-going tourists was . . . for lack of a better word, a forest.  Seriously, it was totally random and weird and out-of-place and kind of interesting.  My first instinct was to stay the course, chalk it up so some over-budget episode of Law and Order that happened to be shooting that day, and be early for work.  On second thought, though, I DO write a blog about trying new things in the city, so what kind of adventurous blogger would I be if I passed up the opportunity to check it out?  So . . . I took a Claritin and a detour.

Turns out, Aveeno (you know, like, the soap?) was the creator of this lush display of greenery, not some TV show.  Interesting.  I went to the nearest counter and asked an amiable fresh-faced young woman how I might best take advantage of Mother Nature’s big apple festivities and she directed me to the entrance to “the garden”.  I walked to the north side of the square, through an archway, and lo and behold, I was in a magical little forest.  After my first three steps, I could no longer see any of the man-made regalia that surrounded me.  I was in a forest full of trees and flowers and butterflies.  It was oh so Amy Adams in “Enchanted”.  (If only I could magically have her career).  The path in front of me snaked from side to side and featured all types of flora and fauna abbreviated with little identifying signs.  I stopped in front of a row of (what the little sign told me were) purple hellebores.  Beautiful.  And adorable.  And SO not Times Square.

I meandered from sign to sign, flower clump to flower clump, and, I must say, thoroughly enjoyed my romp.  Because of the wind-y trail, the length of the path through the trees was much longer than I had expected, and I emerged five minutes later slightly happier and slightly more relaxed.  It wasn't a full day in the countryside, but it was a much-needed taste of peace and quiet.  To sweeten my experience, a nice lady at the exit handed me a bag with Aveeno samples and coupons.  Win/win.  Will I buy Aveeno stuff because they (obviously) spend loads of dough to put a forest in Times Square?  Probably not.  Did my open-mindedness, marginal sense of adventure, and subsequent (albeit abbreviated) walk through trees and flowers make me a happier person for a little while?  Yep.  Good job, me.  Thanks, blog.

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