Are you a glass is half empty or glass is half full kind of person? Last week, 30,000 optomists showed up in Central Park even though the forecast was for thundershowers. 30,000 people took a chance. I was one of them. In spite of the weather forecast, the night before my family made a delicous picnic feast. We decided we’d eat it in Central Park or sit on the floor in the living room if the rain prevailed. When I left the house the next morning, all of the sidewalks were drenched and everyone had umbrellas. During the morning it continued to pour. There were a few times during the afternoon that the sun actually burst through the clouds. Then the storm started again. The Great Lawn in Central Park got a great watering! Around five in the afternoon, my son called to strategize. “It’s not raining in midtown,” I said. It’s not raining uptown” he answered. I called my husband whose office is all the way downtown where it was still raining. My son set out into the park, beach chairs in tow. I darted into the subway to head uptown. My husband reluctantly agreed to head uptown, unconvinced that we would in fact enjoy our special night under the stars. I grabbed the food — pasta, salads, cheeses and bread and headed in the park, I broke into an enormous smile. Everywhere I looked there were hundreds of people walking into the park carrying chairs, blankets and lots of food. Everyone looked so happy.
The New York Philharmonic was performing with the Shanghai Symphony. We were all so thrilled that the rain had stopped in just enough time to prevent them from cancelling this week of once a year free concerts in Central Park and all of the boroughs of New York City, one of the nicest rituals of summer. New York is the melting pot of the world and there were so many people from all walks of life, from all cultures coming together in community to enjoy the music and a night under the stars. The heat had been unbearable all week, yet tonight when it got dark outside, a gentle breeze descended onto the giant ellipse in the middle of Central Park. I was great to be one of the 30,000 “glass is half full kind of person” that night.