Monday, December 21, 2009

Central Park Showing Off ~ Pilgrim Hill 1964

After the snowfall Saturday night, the City put on its winter best.

December 1964, It snowed days straight and remained cold during the beginning of Christmas break. Every day, we mushed through the streets with our sleds to Central Park. Our usual stop was Cherry Hill at 79th Street. But that year, we developed ten-year old guts and visited the tougher ride, Pilgrim Hill, at the 72nd Street.

Pilgrim Hill had rocks jutting out of it to hit or avoid, and a heavy-duty fence at the bottom of the ride. The fence had a missing section six feet wide where the older kids built up a berm allowing you to hit the walkway where another berm was added to lift you out and onto frozen Sailboat Lake to finish your ride.

If you were confident, stupid, or reckless the best ride in the park was touching the Pilgrim statue on top, flying over a few rocks on your sled, narrowly missing the fence on the bottom of the hill, along with a free trip to Lenox Hill's Emergency Room, then bouncing over the two berms onto the lake. Even the older kids nodded their heads in admiration if you nailed it.

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