In April, at the height of the pandemic in New York City, Central Park asked me to write an essay about what the park means to me as part of their #MyCentralPark Instagram campaign. This week, they selected a quote from my essay and printed it on a banner that now hangs in Central Park on the path that runs along the north side of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 84th Street just off Fifth Avenue. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to have my words displayed in my favorite place in the world. Here’s the full essay that includes this quote:
I live half a block from Central Park. I go there every day with my tiny dog. I go when I’m depleted and emerge restored. I go when I’m happy and emerge with even more joy.
The park holds our smiles and tears, our hopes and fears. It breathes with us and for us. Over these past weeks it’s my breath that I’m most grateful for. It’s my breath and the park that I return to as I look for some bits of peace in this quiet war.
The park is my classroom and my confidant. Now it’s also my theater and my concert hall. My laboratory and my living, thriving museum. It’s where science and art and society intertwine so fully that it’s impossible to separate them.
The park makes room. It makes room for everyone, for all forms of life — people, plants, animals, fungi, and microbes. All playing their part, all contributing to something greater than themselves.
There is work happening in the park, the most profound work that can be done. Life turns over there. It’s constantly and steadily renewed, and so are we in its presence. It’s a reminder of the cycle of nature mirrored in the cycle of our own lives. None of it lasts forever, but all of it serves its purpose in its time.
The park is always there, in every season, at every time of day. Steady and at ease — two things we need so desperately now in these unsteady times of tremendous difficulty.
When I think back on this time, I’ll always remember that when everything else fell away, Central Park remained. It waited for us, ready to welcome us as its beloved guests to tread lightly on its hallowed ground, whenever we arrived, providing whatever we needed in a time when we needed so much. That is something I’ll never forget, something I’ll never take for granted — the generosity of that park and everyone who works so hard to keep it open for all of us.
The short of it:
Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day.
The long of it:
My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events.
While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series.
A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist.
I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media:
• I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference;
• I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable;
• I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me.
Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.
View all posts by Christa Avampato
4 thoughts on “Write every day: My Central Park”
Congrats! This is fabulous and a picture to be framed. You amaze me!
Thank you, Cheryl!!
How meaningful and beautiful! Congratulations!
Thank you, Lauren!!
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