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Tales from The Social Club: Chilling in a Cooling Central Park

Meeting Date and Time: Tuesday, April 9, 2024 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Meeting Location Origin: Potbelly, 46 West 56th St, New York, NY 

Meeting Location Destination: The Pond at Central Park (East Side between 59th and 63rd St., NYC)

Website Links:  Potbelly and The Pond at Central Park 

A unseasonably warm start to The Social Club (TSC) (approx. 72℉, average high temperature is 59℉ in Central Park) got much cooler as the evening progressed to the point where the temperature dropped to 62℉ by the time TSC concluded. Below is a graph of the temperature data recorded in Central Park on April 9 at latitude 40.78 °N and longitude 73.97 °W. This latitude and longitude is not the exact location TSC met (as Central Park is a large park (it is 0.5 miles wide and 2.5 miles long)), but it is close enough to our location for the data shown here to be close to accurate (it might be off by 1 or 2 degrees Fahrenheit at the most).

Data Source: Weather Underground
Data Source: Weather Underground

We met at Potbelly (a grab and go restaurant with some seating) and placed orders for food and drink to take to Central Park for a picnic. I ordered a root beer, BBQ chips, and a chicken sandwich. Unlike some of the other restaurants we attended, this Potbelly is somewhat of a unicorn in that it played no music at all. This made socializing with everyone a lot easier.

In terms of what I socialized about, I will share with you what I shared with the rest of the group. On Monday, April 8th, my Dad and I traveled to upstate NY to view a rare total solar eclipse, an event so beautiful and spectacular that words and pictures can describe it.

After everyone ordered food and drinks, we walked from Potbelly to Central Park. Once we arrived in the park, we found some grass and rocks to sit on to enjoy our picnic and great views of the Manhattan skyline.

Central Park and Manhattan Skyline
Central Park and Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline and Wollman Rink (White Circle)
Manhattan Skyline and Wollman Rink (White Circle)

As I mentioned earlier, the air got noticeably colder (from 72℉ to 62℉) so I put a couple of jackets on over my T-shirt. One recommendation I would make for those who want to visit Central Park in the spring or fall is to check the weather forecast. When visiting Central Park shortly after sunrise or before sunset, it is important to bring layers of clothing (jackets, long sleeve shirt, T-shirt, etc.) to be prepared for the sudden rise or fall in temperatures. On the day of our visit, as an example, the temperature was 50℉ at 5:51 AM, rose to 75℉ by 2:51 PM, and then dropped to 58℉ by 11:51 PM. In addition, I would also recommend checking the weather forecast in the summer (it can get hot and humid) and winter (it can get very cold) as well. Rain also occurs year round and snow/sleet/freezing rain can occur in the winter.

Using an ice breaker card game, a number of conversation topics were drawn from the deck such as “Which time period would you like to visit?” and “What past world event would you like to see?” with a couple of answers being the late 1960s because of the Moon landing and the most recent total solar eclipse, respectively. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, I walked with a group member and Juliette (our group leader) to the subway and boarded a train where I went my own way one stop later eagerly awaiting and wondering what the next group outing would be.

I will wrap up this post with one final note. If you recall, earlier in this post, I mentioned that I saw a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. I will be writing a special blog post about that total solar eclipse which will be published soon. Stay tuned!


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