The Historical Significance of Central Park

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Stephen Wolf, Author of Central Park Love Song: Wandering Beneath the Heaventrees and English Professor at Berkeley College, to discuss the historical significance of Central Park to New York City and how the park has evolved over the years.

8/12/19 #2239






"We are honored to be joined by Stephen Wolf, the author of Central Park Love Song: Wandering Beneath the Heaventrees. Also an English professor at Berkeley College, one of the institutions of higher learning we know very well. This book. Powerful. And I thought I knew Central Park until I started reading it. Ah. Tell folks about the book. Well thanks. It covers my 42 year relationship with Central Park. A relationship? Yeah. Describe it. And as I discovered the park so... By the way you can tell we're taping live because it's our relationship with the center of the heart of Manhattan, and... And that's a part of the... ...there's a fire truck going., too. Yes. There's a few places in the park where you don't hear the sirens. Really? Yeah. Anyways, I arrived in 1976 to take part in the Fall of Civilization. New York was the capital of that too at the time. That's right. And I had a big dog. I lived on the Lower East Side. And I had a big dog who had to get... who had to do more than walk around the block a couple of times a day. So I got him to Central Park. And I fell in love with the park. That's your dog? Yeah. Yeah. That's my dog. And he was about 10 or 11 years old when we moved there. When we moved to the Lower East Side. East 1st Street. And it was too far to walk to the park And I had no job or money or prospects. I came here with a dream in my heart and a dog. So I figured the best way to get him to Central Park was by subway, but the only way to get him to Central Park by subway is if he was a guide dog. So I pretended I was blind. And the story opens with our first... Wow. ...night visit, late at night in case something went wrong, where I put on glasses, opened up this stick, put him on a leash, and we tap away downstairs. What do you love about this park? Oh. You gotta read the book Steve. Many things. It's... Tell folks what they should love about the park. It's got so many... sometimes I love the beauty of nature and the solitude, and there's hawks and coyotes and wild animals, but I also like the social scene of it. I mean it's where musicians go to play. It's where unusual people go to sit by a lake and read a newspaper. It's... and it's slow. It's not the rush of Times Square. It's not the lights. It's people taking their time. But it's evolved? I'm..."