Bruce’s Garden is a beautiful spot in my neighborhood. When my wife and I went looking for an apartment, the vibrant garden nestled onto the “pro” side of our decision-making process without us even realizing it.
On Wednesday night, Bruce’s Garden hosted our annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony. Hot chocolate, cake and carols, then a roaring countdown. Then more carols. Sometimes, there are even rosy cheeks and suggestions of snow, but not this year.
As we sipped our hot chocolate and waited for the countdown, I saw a police cruiser with lights flashing speed down the dead end of Park Terrace East toward Isham Park. The car did not come back out. Nobody else seemed to notice. There were five police officers in attendence for the festivities, but I didn’t see any of them leave the garden.
About a hundred yards away from where we stood, four thieves attacked a man walking through the park on his way to meet his family in the garden. He’s a big man and he fought back, but he couldn’t prevent the mugging. He was injured but he drove around the area with the police officers looking for the muggers. They didn’t find them.
I don’t want to speculate on the nature of the crime, the criminals, nor the victim other than to say that it was clearly brazen. The ceremony was well publicized. The police were prominent, the crowd vocal.
The things that keep us close to the city crash into the things that push us away. I can pretend that by choosing the right route home, or by carrying myself a certain way that I can avoid being jumped. That’s a fine delusion when I’m only thinking about me, but I’m not thinking about me anymore.
Someday, I’ll celebrate my last Christmas in New York City. Maybe it will be this one.
[Photo Credit: Carla Zanoni Dn'Ainfo]