I took another walk down the full length of the Esplanade the other day…started out at Chambers St. at around 4pm, if I remember correctly. It was a beautiful afternoon, veiled sunlight that was slowly shifting to ochre as evening approached.
At the southeast end terminus of the pathway, there is an observation tower that looks out over a huge cul-de-sac. There’s an Italian restaurant, Gigino, that sits right beneath, and actually occupies part of, the base of the observation tower. Children are always playing nearby, managing to sneak away or excusing themselves early from their parents, who are slowly working their way through a 3 course meal.
A feeling of nostalgia washed over me as I watched them set up impromptu games of “Fly’s Up”, a schoolyard game that I used to play back in grade school, and “Suicide” which is like Wall Ball, but more fun (read: involves pegging other players). I love the unspoken social contract that exists between young children…you know, the one that basically allows you to be friends with anyone 4 years on either side of you, beginning with a minimum age of 5? As long as you all happen to be stuck waiting for your parents to finish doing whatever it is that they’re doing…at that age it didn’t really matter what was boring you, once you could get hold of a ball and at least one more player.