Writing Prompt: Feelin’ Groovy

Contributed by Michael Charboneau

Aaaah, New York in the summertime: the smell of rotting garbage baking in the hot sun, humid air slapping you in the face like a wet blanket, and your apartment transforming itself into an oven. A  summer in the city is a true test of everyone’s heat tolerance, but the hot weather certainly isn’t all bad. Luckily, sweat-soaked New Yorkers can find refuge from the steamy concrete jungle in the city’s 29,000 acres of parkland, which includes notable locales like Central, Bryant, and Prospect Parks, as well as thousands of other green spaces scattered throughout the rest of the boroughs. Compared to the sizzling city streets, stretching out under a tree in the park will certainly have you, well, feelin’ groovy.

Simon & Garfunkel’s landmark “Concert in Central Park” drew an audience of more than 500,000 people in September 1981, but that definitely isn’t the only special event that has taken place in NYC parks. More recently, the Global Citizen Festival has brought in big names such as The Black Keys and Stevie Wonder, and festivals, concerts, and other events abound in green spaces all over the city. With all that going on, it’s a wonder anybody leaves the parks to face the harsh climate of the street.

In celebration of the summer weather, grab a notebook and pen and pay a visit to your favorite city park (or beach, or basketball court, or wherever you like to hang out). Once you’re there, spend some time observing what’s happening. Then, using what you’ve observed as inspiration, write a story that takes place entirely inside your park.