Tim Folzenlogen

"We are what we experience. Experience something new and become someone different."

Day Five – Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park is in my neighborhood.

You can see photos of it at the end of the “Thoughts” thread (Projects file), and I mention it in a lot of my essays.

I think it is one of the most beautiful parks in Manhattan. I’ve been there thousands of times.

So it was a sunny Saturday afternoon, and I had a few hours with nothing else planned, and I always like to make the best use of my time – so I thought to go up to Fort Tryon Park with my briefcase and try that.

And so I did.

Wow. It was the best yet.

I’ve shown a lot in Monkey Room and Bleu (see Biography) which are both located in this same neighborhood, and I was amazed by how many people made the connection between this painting and those shows – and who also readily knew my name. “Oh. You are Tim Folzenlogen.”

Since this particular neighborhood doesn’t get street entertainment (which is more commonplace in downtown neighborhoods) I really stood out. Many walked over just to see what I was doing.

Everyone was very friendly. I probably gave a card to the majority of passer-bys, because they wanted one.

Everyone except the Jewish people, maybe Orthodox, many of who said that they couldn’t take one, when I offered them a card.

I finally asked one of them what they meant by “can’t”, and they told me that they are not allowed to carry anything on The Sabbath.

That’s cool. I deeply respect everyone.

My friend from Yemen can’t show me a photo of his wife because, if he did, his version of God would be offended.

Just, well, it always makes me think – is GOD really offended by anything?

Or can we admit that it is only our version of God, defined by our belief, which we were probably born into, and so never looked outside of, because if we did, if we deeply considered being born into the other guy’s family, place, time and belief system - we’d probably think exactly like he does - just as we so fervently believe what we do today – none of which means that God actually IS this or that belief, in any kind of exclusive way - and maybe, when you get right down to it, maybe everyone is just playing their own version of pretend.

May 17, 2003