Beach Bodies in Central Park

As everyone knows, it is difficult to tan in the urban jungle of NYC. Without beaches, country clubs and backyard getaways, New York, without the Hamptons, can be a difficult place to get a true summer experience. As a fair-skinned person, that was the question on Saturday afternoon: where to get a summer glow among a bevy of steel buildings, beer gardens and summer rats. That’s how we found the field of tanners in Central Park. Venturing into the park for just a stroll, Cody, Katrina and I found ourselves in the field of half-naked, swimsuit wearing New Yorkers in the middle of Manhattan’s urban jungle. We were amazed at figuring out that New Yorkers who don’t make the Hampton Jitney trip end up on the fields of Central Park. So with a sundress and blanket in tow, Katrina, Cody and I ended up having a NYC tanning day.

Among a crowd of young New Yorkers tanning in their swimsuits, beer in hand and dog in the other, the three of us learned the ways of bronzing in the city: Central Park lawns. Although we were not in swimsuits, no pina coladas to see or jet skiing, the three of us made do by lifting up our sundresses and trying to glow without a rat or trash amongst us. Although it was funny to see people in swimsuits without water, we realized this was the trade off in New York. You don’t have wild days on the beach with summer cocktails and water activities, but you do have a small summer getaway in the greenery of the universe’s center. And in the city that never sleeps, what can you say? At least you have one place to venture out and get summer color. And when you’re dreaming of tropical, sandy beaches in New York, just remember: you’re living in the center of everything and something as a simple as a tan is not nearly as important when you’re among NYC’s glitterati each weekend. So whether you’re getting a shade darker in Central Park or glowing at Rockaway, keep in mind that the Big Apple is not about getting any bit bronzer but about experiencing every bit the city has to offer pale-skinned or not. And as a Snow White doppelganger, this was the best news to hear of all!

-Harriet White

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