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My Picnic With Who

We visited Central Park yesterday, for a gathering of Doctor Who fans. The weather was hot but not oppressive, as long as we stuck to the shade.

I don’t remember even being to Central Park before, though I may have forgotten an earlier visit. Though I can see it performs a vital service in offering greenery of any kind to Manhattan, it looked a little seedy to me, if only because the park, large as it is, is still insufficient for the city’s needs—too many intrusions of sidewalk vendors, too many bandstands, too many lawns worn bare by an excess of pedestrians, not enough toilets.

It is a great place for people watching, though. Geeks on parade are usually the most interesting people around, willing to defy normality in pursuing their interests. But this is New York City, where personal expression is a high art, and you really have to commit to attention-grabbing if you want to stand out from the crowd.. The ordinary pedestrians filing past, on their way to or from or coincidentally past Strawberry Fields, were at least as interesting as the twenty-or-so Who fans at the picnic—moreso, since they didn’t share even the modest homogeneity of a geekfest.

Lacking an interest in Doctor Who myself, I found keeping my attention on the conversation at hand difficult. This surprised me. No longer enjoying the more intensive geek contact my youth, I expected to feel more “among my people,” the specific fandom notwithstanding, than I did. Sign that I’m growing more normal with exposure to normal people in classes, or merely a sign that I’m growing more boring?

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