Speed on Central Park


The Sundance Channel has been playing The Cruise all month. Here’s Timothy “Speed” Levitch’s tour guide commentary on Central Park, wholly denying the contribution of Robert Moses:

“Hello. Can you hear me in the back? Twenty-seven thousand trees are planted. Ten and a half million cartloads of topsoil imported, and a hundred and forty miles of drainage pipes laid, and these are the basic ingredients of the supposedly natural creation called Central Park, and there is nothing natural about Central Park. Welcome.

“Frederick Law Olmstead, the essential landscape architect of this original Central Park, sees a group of boys playing a primordial form of baseball on the lower play lawns in the 1850s, and at that moment outlaws baseball from Central Park. The men who built and designed this park are Transcendentalists. To them Central Park is a place to become one with nature, to focus on trees, to scintillate with grass, to stare into one another’s eyes. No sweating allowed in the original Central Park. No perspiration of any kind. Anyone you see congregating for the baseball game on the left, bicycling, roller blading, jogging, they are not historically accurate. Anyone you see lounging in the sun, having a picnic, or kissing, they are historically accurate.”


The Cruise


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