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Oct 30, 2019

I Spy Lin-Manuel Miranda! A Perfect Day in NYC

I couldn’t have scripted yesterday any better, a perfect NYC day for this citizen, both professionally and personally.

First thing in the morning I completed work on a retreat I’m leading next week — I’ll write more about that after it’s over–knowing that I had an outdoor reward coming up later in the day. I’d signed up with the Central Park Conservancy for a Fall Foliage Tour. Being a typical New Yorker, I wanted to get my leaf-peeping in and chose a 90-minute guided session to accomplish this goal. (I know, I can hear your voices tsk-tsk’ing me to take more time to smell the roses. As I would tell you…) Having lived in New England for decades, I love fall. But in Manhattan, it’s possible to miss it entirely, hence my date with the trees.

Ryan, our guide from the Central Park Conservancy

Ryan, our guide, in full Central Park Conservancy attire, met us at the appointed time. I could feel my joy meter swinging into action. It started when I noticed their logo on his jacket and other signage, and immediately loved not only its simplicity, but also the tagline: Central to the Park. We were about 20 men and women strolling through the abundant rainbow of autumn colors. Ryan gave us information about the history of the park in addition to describing the splendor of trees we were seeing. I learned so much, particularly that not all conifers (think pine trees) are evergreen. Ryan showed us the Bald Cypress (that’s a clue right there) which had green needle-y leaves currently, but which will turn russet-red soon and then drop off.

Note 3 leaf shapes on Sassafras tree

I was awed by the majesty of the nature in my backyard and avidly took in the information. One other detail of hundreds he shared is about the sassafras tree which has three different leaf shapes. Can you spot them in this image? Intriguing, right?! I loved learning, being outside in nature, and having an expert guide.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

From there I hustled over to an appointment with my physical therapist, then back to the West Side to catch the train uptown. By some marvelous coincidence, I hit Columbus Circle heading to the A train just in time to see a group of rappers entertaining an assembled crowd. I glanced over and almost gasped at who was rapping at the moment, LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA (aka Hamilton!!!). Right there, two feet from me. My meter’s needle flung to its highest point and I snapped a pic right before they completed their gig.

Twyla Tharp

My CSA order needed to be picked up before I bolted down a bite to eat so I could head back downtown to hear Twyla Tharp at Symphony Space talk about her brand new book: Keep It Moving. What a grand finale to a perfectly wonderful and balanced day.

What does your perfect day consist of? It’ll shine a light on what you value. Here’s a quick list of what lights me up in no particular order:

The Arts

I’d love to see your list!




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  1. scarlett De Bease

    WOW!! What a great day you had. Prooves that peeping, as in paying attention to what is around us, really pays off.

    • Jane Pollak

      @Scarlett Yes! There was more to peeping than leaves that day!

  2. Bonnie

    Your day brought a big smile to my face. So …. congrats to you on a great day and to me for reading your blog post!

    • Jane Pollak

      @Bonnie. Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving!


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