Having walked through a small portion of Central Park on our New York trip last month, I picked up CENTRAL PARK: An American Masterpiece by Sara Cedar Miller from the library. This shows how the city’s desire to have “a central park” took form through the work of Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Charles Vaux, visualizing it as a place to both rest the soul and elevate the lower classes. This largely survived the inevitable oversight from the city’s power-brokers (one proposal would have imposed a Parisian-style boulevard through the park) though with several modifications Miller argues worked for out for the best, such as the Park’s well-known bridges. Good, though I skipped over a lot of sections on details such as the individual statues—though I did find it interesting to see Americans of every ethnicity have had the urge to put statues to their heroes up in the mark (The photo is mine—as you can see winter wasn’t the best time for a visit).
REJECTED is the collection of multiply rejected stories (seriously, that was the criterion for inclusion) that includes my “And He Bought a Crooked Cat,” (see the story behind the story here) so please don’t assume that all the rejections mean the book sucks. Besides my own work, my favorites were “The Cleaners” (an OCD man battles mean spirited janitors who insist on rearranging his stuff) and “Christmas Shepherd” (a heartwarming Christmas story about a man and his dog that actually works for me). I’m glad to have this in hard copy.
Now the movie I forgot yesterday— FRANKLYN (2008) follows several seemingly unrelated plotlines involving a suicidal performance artist, a father searching for his crazy son and a masked vigilante hunting down “the Individual,” a crimelord in Meanwhile City. The town’s name convinced me this might be a time or parallel world story, but no—and I guessed almost from the first a key element of the finish. Watchable, but it’s style without substance. “Go, or I’ll kill us both… if you really knew me, you’d get out of here right now.”