Memorial Day Picnic

Happy Memorial Day! It’s a little belated — the important thing is that summer is officially here! Not according to that Gregorian square hanging on your cubicle wall on which you mark your and your co-workers’ vacation days, of course (it will try to tell you Summer doesn’t start until June 21st), but according to New York tradition. Each year on this extended holiday weekend the city empties as its residents flee the heat and humidity for the Hamptons, Fire Island, or the Jersey Shore (which, no, isn’t quite as ludicrous as Snooki & The Situation make it seem). As up-and-coming twenty-somethings who haven’t budgeted that share in the Hamptons just yet, G and I decided to throw what has become our Annual Kickoff to Summer Picnic at the Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park.

Central Park is huge, sprawling, with lots of somewhat confusing windy paths that can take you from the Southeast corner to the Upper West Side without knowing what happened. By now, G & I have managed to figure out the best way to get to Sheep’s Meadow — but we always meet on the NW Corner of 60th Street & 5th Avenue to ensure that we arrive together and can stake out a decent spot. Our Corner is the SE — with just the right amount of sunshine & shade, and close enough to a couple refreshment carts in case we run out of mixers. Our directions for others who haven’t been there? Not so easy — how do you explain to someone follow this windy path until you reach that windy path, and take a right? So we generally tell them it’s between 62nd & 67th Streets, a little closer to the West Side, but you can’t really miss it. If you’re feeling a bit lost, just breathe, ask someone for the Sheep’s Meadow and they’ll point you in the right direction.

The first of many that will take place over the course of the summer, the Memorial Day Picnic had quite a turnout! It had rained early that morning, pouring buckets of water over the Island, so when G & I showed up at Central Park the meadow was fairly devoid of others. I worried for a moment that it would just be the three of us — G, Jay (G’s man), and me. Luckily then D arrived, and the trickle of guests turned into a flood. Or a sizeable stream, anyway. Word of these picnics often spread, and so while G & I always invite ourfriends, we encourage everyone to invite their friends as well — which ends up with a marvelous mixing pot of people, food, and refreshing drink. Pre-mixed mimosas in OJ Containers? Pretty damn brilliant. Thanks to D for that one.

A few drinks, some snacking, and a rousing game of Taboo (timed by N, above) later, we called it quits. The sun was, after all, abandoning the park, and we figured we should follow suit. Home again, home again, with the laughter still in my head and the sun-glow still on my face. These are some of the best moments in life.

What did you do to celebrate the beginning of summer?

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4 Responses to Memorial Day Picnic

  1. amanda blair says:

    Amazing! I want to tag along next time…board games and a picnic?! too much fun in one sitting.

    • stolensays says:

      Yes, you should definitely come next time! Catch Phrase, Taboo, mimosas, guac — all part of the summer plan. Looks like you had some fun too, tho, w/those rooftop movies — I want to get in on that!

  2. rebecca r. says:

    was it really a year ago that i was in sheep’s meadow with you and all those beautiful strangers? i miss you!

    p.s. how did you get to be so hot?

    • stolensays says:

      How time flies! As for the hotness — the sun was shining particularly bright that day. Also, D brings a lot to that photo. He kept his shades halfway on out of respect for the masses.

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