there is a particular playground that is located near the achingly charming abington square in the west village. it is adjacent to the famous magnolia cupcake bakery which is just steps away from swanky marc jacobs' kids boutique. the playground itself is lined with the ubiquitous black wrought iron nyc parks & rec fence and boasts a thick frosting of sycamore trees on the perimeter that lends perfect shade at the right time of day.
once inside, the first thing you notice are a dozen or so hip 40-something parents standing in clusters chatting casually while their toddlers trip and tumble around their ankles. then you notice the ever present, ominous fleet of strollers that form an eerie straight line near the entrance. the new strollers are so slick and comfortable looking that it makes nolan's stroller from '00 look like a barbaric rolling chamber from hell. they're all loaded up so generously with toys, food, drink that the mere site of one of these convenient contraptions would make any lazy adult want to crawl right into one and never come out.
nolan is oblivious to all of this and generally runs freely about the yard without me having to shadow him. i rest easy in that he no longer feels the need taste-test everything that is not nailed to the ground. i also can relax because he no longer has the desire to run, forest! run! out the through the open gate and into city traffic. i also want to give him space. nolan would refuse to speak to me for days if i were to suddenly appear at the end of the 3 foot high kiddie slide with open arms waiting for him.