Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ten minutes in the life

On Sunday night, just before 8 p.m. on West Drive in Central Park, I watched three mischief-making children try to climb onto a moving carriage that had passengers. One child fell into the roadway, losing a shoe and only narrowly avoiding the carriage's wheels. This incident, while not the carriage driver's fault, is typical of the nonsense that goes on in the park, especially on a summer weekend. Keep in mind that the New York City carriage driver is not required to carry much in the way of insurance.

Not two minutes later, the driver of this carriage was seen letting a young child take the reins, with his supervision, near Tavern on the Green. That same child--a little girl of around 6 years old--had both hands on the reins when I saw this carriage around 61st Street, preparing to exit to Central Park South. The horse was moving at a brisk clip, a canter, and the kid was loving it. She knew nothing of the danger, of course.
Wrong, misguided, and illegal. Where is the ASPCA when you need it? The drivers have got eagle eyes. Maybe the rare sighting of an ASPCA humane law enforcement officer is what the drivers are always discussing so earnestly on the cell phone--another favorite pasttime of theirs. I guess it does get boring, counting cash and operating what the drivers view as an amusement park "ride." The carriage's license number started with a "10" and ended with "3." He knows he who is.
The horse shown in the photo is not the one that is described above. Rather, this horse is seen eating food off the streets of NYC. Let's hope some water was made available.

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