The idea of a communal gathering in which to enjoy a meal has been a feature of literature from the children’s books to the Bible itself. People have always loved to eat and people have always relished gathering together. The communal meal comes in a variety of genres -restaurant to home dining, eating on the go to celebratory meals. It could be said that the concept of picnic’ing outside under the fresh sky is one form of communal gathering that has a special romanticism to it.
Al fresco in nature and uniquely located by definition, the picnic allows its guests to enjoy idyllic surrounds and views while banqueting on a relish of hand packed goods. Done in groups, or at times alone, a picnic connects a person with nature while engaging in one of the most edifying acts of human existence: enjoying a meal.
The forms a picnic takes has varied over time and by culture. The 18th century saw a wave of lavish picnics with complex meals and fancy drink fueled social affairs. While other centuries saw the picnic a feature in the life of an ordinary man in the field consuming his meal after a day working hard in his agricultural employment.
Nowadays the picnic is more associated with a time to spend together with ones we love to enjoy chat and good scenery.
New York itself has over 1,000 parks and green areas. Some accessible by a boat ride to an island, others elevated above the city and still others flowing with streams, expansive fields and babbling fountains. The convenience of never being too far away from a store makes this city the prime location to gather some eats and set up a spot for a picnic on the whim.
The tradition may have started hundreds of years ago but the evolution to the modern picnic in a city crawling with millions is unique to this time. The backdrop of a bustling city loans its own allure to this otherwise common moment. Regardless of it’s urban nature, New York allows its visitor to still connect with others in its spots of nature by sharing a meal under the open sky is and creating memories that one treasures for years to come.