I got into a good conversation with a friend the other day and we were talking about constructing a perfect day. I think it says a lot about someone. Here's what my perfect day would be like (within the limits of my normal experiences... no hunting spider monkees in Fiji, b/c I've never been there and couldn't identify one if I saw it):
It is summer in New York City... about 85 degrees with a light breeze. I wake up at 8, pack my bag and jump in the car. The top goes down and I drive into the city... over the Brooklyn Bridge, across Chambers Street and up West St. to Pier 40. I arrive a few minutes after the opening of the Downtown Boathouse and help get the kayaks out onto the dock.
The regulars start coming in one by one. They get the little safety talk from Vincent, who is 90-something, and I help them get into their boats. Every now and then, I go out for a paddle, knowing me to follow up a conversation with some pretty girl that started at the dock. I'm just a social guy, you know. :)
The regular volunteers make their appearences throughout the day... some to stay, some just to say hello on their way uptown or out for the day. Everyone who comes out of the water asks to stay in longer and all of the people who have never done this before can't believe it's free. They linger to talk about the boats and the water and how much has changed about the West Side over the years.
Around noon, we get a pizza delivered. We also get a surprise visit from a kayaking regular, who used to come down with her husband almost every weekend. She brings in her arms a great excuse for not being down lately...
By 2:30, I start heading out with things in order and other volunteers around to cover the rest of the day. I head uptown in the car to Central Park, luck out with a spot, and pop the trunk to break out my softball stuff. Glove, bat and cleats in hand, I make my way to the Great Lawn's northern fields, 7 and 8, just beyond the oval. Enclosed by a stadium of trees, it's a great place to play. There are no sunbathers to get in the way, but you can see all those folks on the lawn enjoying themselves with frisbees and blankets. But for now, it's gametime.
I'm playing on a team that has never come once came together... a mishmosh of people from various teams. Ideally, I could recreate some of those last hardball games I played when I was 19... with my best friend Brian closing out his pitching career and me behind the plate on the receiving end of the slowest, most frustrating curveballs you've ever seen... but I'm trying to be realistic with this day, so instead we're playing softball and I'm bouncing from third, to outfield to first. It doesn't matter where I play in the field, as long as I get to hit. I lace six singles to center and right field on six consecutive pitches--the only six I see in the game, which I actually did once. That's my kind of day at the plate.
Afterwards, I walk over to a NYSC on the West Side to shower up. Back in the car, all the way back downtown to Battery Park for dinner at Southwest NY. In all honesty, the food isn't even that great, but I just love sitting there after a long day in the sun, watching the sun go down. I guess it would be a date... someone I could share a great conversation with and feel comfortable and relaxed with... to just enjoy the moment. I love that spot.
Ok, so I'm realizing that my perfect day has a lot of driving in it. I don't mind it one bit, especially b/c there isn't any traffic in my perfect day.... but ridiculous as it may seem, it's back up to Central Park after dinner. By now, they've cleared the softball fields and some good friends have secured a spot on the Great Lawn for the New York Philharmonic's Concert in the Park. That's one of my favorite things to do all summer. Nothing like fruit, cheese and cookies on a blanket with classical music, friends, and fireworks after. Man, I love fireworks...
And at the end of the day, it would be nice to wind up at home, turn to someone and say, "Wow, that was really a perfect day... You know I had those six hits on consecutive pitches."