Riverside Park Weekend: The Tepee Builders
On Saturday, a man and two boys were discovered building … a tepee!
As you may recall, we have wondered about the tepees, large and small, that mysteriously appear and disappear in Riverside Park.
When questioned, the man affirmed that he has indeed been building tepees in Riverside Park for several years.
While we talked, the boys lugged two large flat stones into the center of the tepee, and placed a circular tin of pastilles on top.
“Look,” cried one. “We have a table!”
I told the man we admire his work, and are sad when the tepees disappear.
“Sometimes it seems we’re just gathering branches for the parks department to pick up,” he said with a smile and a shrug. “But it’s all right. There’s a kind of atavistic pleasure just in gathering brush.”
On Sunday, Esau and I returned to admire the completed work.
Sadly, this is what we found. No more tepee. Only bones.
The bells of Riverside Church chimed Thanksgiving hymns. Okay, all right. We’re grateful we met the builders and saw a tepee in process. But we’re still sad to see it so soon gone.
The sight of a painter in a pink plaid shirt working en plein air restored our equanimity.
Come back soon, tepee builders. We miss you already.In the City, November, strange encounters