Friday, December 4, 2009

An alternative view of Central Park

This summer, the husband and I took my nephews to see Up (which was excellent, by the way. I highly recommend it). Five-year-old Seamus sent us this drawing as a thank-you note. (Click to enlarge.) It's helpfully captioned by his mother: "This is Central Park and you can go uptown or downtown and I am in a truck."

The truck is very detailed. Check out those tires -- and the taillights! I'm not sure what that brown stuff is (is it a dump truck?), or why Seamus is riding in the bed instead of the cab. But I haven't had a chance to ask.

Even more fascinating is his representation of Central Park, and (I guess) the roadways around it. To me it seems inspired by subway maps -- although it looks more like this alternative one than the official MTA version that Shea would have seen. It could also be influenced by those maps they have in the backseat of taxicabs to help you figure out where you are... I can't find one online, but New Yorkers will know what I mean.

Once, I picked up Seamus's older brother at school and took him somewhere in a cab. He was probably about five at the time -- maybe four. When we settled in, he was sitting with the map right in front of him, and he pointed to it and said, "Doesn't that look like a rhinoceros?" I can still picture him pointing, with his little mittened hand and his short arms making it difficult for me to tell what exactly he was pointing to. But I looked at the map, and specifically at the paths winding through Central Park, and: he's right! It does look like a rhinoceros! Now I look for the rhino map whenever I'm in a taxi. Kids are the best.

On the back of his magnificent picture, Seamus wrote a message:

You're very welcome!

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