A fatty meal, followed by shooting hoops in the driveway and a video introduction to the largest dogs in the world.
It would be an eerie statue to visit at night, the Alice in Wonderland who sits on her giant mushroom at the east side of the park. She's smiling, dead-eyed, while the Mad Hatter grins unpleasantly beside her.
On three occasions, strangers approach me at a bookstore or convenience store for advice on which birthday card to buy for their boss. I don't know why I've been chosen to help, but it's a responsibility I try not to take too lightly.
Somewhere in the trees, there's a frenzied drummer. To the east, a charity walk pours down a broad paved path. Cheerleaders with dazzling pom-poms shout encouragement. In a clearing across from the cheerleaders, LARPers skirmish with foam weapons. Another group practices capoeira, and a saxophonist, playing under a bridge, is enfolded in the echoes of his music.
On a terrace by the lake, a man with a guitar sings "Layla." He performs with heart and a voice rough with age. His music colors the stones and the water, and it nourishes the people who walk by. A few smile at him.
The kids are in high spirits. They dance (including swing dance!) and sing to the music churned out by a piano player who labors body and soul to do justice to Duke Ellington. The evening's low point is at the start, when a teacher uses the words 'hip' and 'cool' and then looks like she can't get the taste of them out of her mouth.
The storm smashes through the park like a tantrum. Branches dangle like the arms of marionettes.