Note: I work for a park slowly in continuing development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handles anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.
It was an early Tuesday morning when we received a phone call that really questioned my faith in humanity, our intentions as a society, and the overall intelligence we currently possess.
Recently our park hosted a film shoot done by Improv Everywhere and sponsored by ESPN. The shoot turned our mini golf area into a make believe Open Championship, with the real Claret jug on site. The following video was later made, edited, and posted on Youtube. It was quite the laugh, and thoroughly sets up the latest true tale.
Well this is how a call the following day went between a co-worker and a caller:
Co-Worker: Good Morning, this is ---.
Caller: Hi, yes, good morning. I had a few questions about your Mini-golf...
Caller: I saw the video which was recently shot there, and was wondering if the area was open to the public yet? Is that Mini Golf Championship over?
Co-Worker: Umm, yeah, it was a one day shoot. Very brief. The area is open to the public and available for use.
Caller: Great! That was a great story to see that kid win. I was wondering if my five year-old was able to play?
Co-Worker: Yes, they are. As long as they are supervised by an adult, children are welcomed to enjoy the Mini-golf activities.
Caller: Ok, my second question...is there available help for my five year old.
Co-Worker: I'm not sure I understand what you are...
Caller: What I mean is, can I hire a coach for my kid? Do you offer coaching assistance? I'd like for him to learn the correct way to mini-golf. After seeing that video, he is really into the sport and told me that is his dream. To win that championship you just held down there.
Co-Worker: That was just a shoot, it wasn't real.
Caller: Oh! [embarrassing laugh] Okay, well either way, I'd still like for someone to properly show him the correct way to mini-golf. Is that possible? I'm willing to pay for a coach as well.
Co-Worker: Umm, unfortunately, we do not have, umm, mini-golf coaches, accessible. However, I'm sure there are attendants down there who would be willing to assist your child the proper techniques.
Caller: Great! He's really excited! I hope my child can one day hold up that trophy. Us parents can only hope our child can go pro in what he loves!
Caller: Thanks for all of your help!
I'm not sure which reason baffles me, the thought of this woman believing this video was a real event for children mini-golfers, or that she believes her child can become a professional mini-golfer. You can't make this stuff up, folks.