My Great Escape From Tompkins Square Park

October 13th 2012


Sorry I’m late…


“That’s alright Olive, where were you anyway?”




I should have known things would have taken a turn for the bizarre when 2 glasses into our vintage bottle of 2012 Malbec …I found myself doing things like this:

Hey you guys I brought a miniature pumpkin in my purse. So yeah.


And proceeded to pose with it like this:

Had to tell the waiter to come back later because…we were busy…


And whilst I was posing with vegetables in a fancy establishment I was also making simultaneous plans via texting with an old-time friend who had recently moved to the city. I agreed to meet up with her in a bit…unaware that my accident prone lifestyle was ready to make its late night debut…again.I bid adieu to Kate and the gang post dinner and drinks and at approximately 12:57 am, ventured to reunite with my throwback friend who was supposedly just a mere 7 blocks away.


Google map it.

Easy peasy


Approximated arrival? 12 minutes.

Actual arrival time? 58 minutes.

What on God’s green earth happened in between then?



I began to travel up 8th street >>>>> miniature pumpkin still in bag…and was prepared to take an immediate right when I looked up and noticed a park.


Tompkins Square Park to be exact.


Hmmm…well…I could either…walk

a        r



d       n


the park












through it.


Well. It’s 1:am. I can’t see a damn thing. My reflexes are a little slow.







Sounds like my kind of party.


And so I went in.









You know…logical decisions have never really been my forte. Feel free to use the following example as supportive evidence:


With             each                passing             step


I wrapped my trench coat a little tighter and walked in my 6 inch heels a little faster.


Okay Olive, just…walk straight. Then you can’t get lost.


The gate to the other side of the park was getting






And I’m not sure if I was scared because of the dead silence, the billowing trees or the fact that when I reached the exit.


I saw this:

I feel like…this is a problem…


Freshly aware that I was trapped in a dark forested area at an odd hour of the night.

I decided to turn around.

No worries.

I’ll just retrace my steps to the opposite side of the park from where I entered and all will be well.

Jokes on you, life.







No wait hold on. Jokes totally on me.


Somewhere in the



7 minutes it took me to walk through the park and back.


Someone took the liberty to lock the alternate entrance, and I was greeted with this:



I looked to my left and saw this:



And looked to my right and saw this:



And zoomed out on my life and realized that I was in fact here:









I needed a life line.

And I needed it now.





Ask the audience?

Well. my options were as follows:

1. The 6 homeless men sleeping like scattered panthers surrounding the premises or

2. No one.








…No I’m pretty sure the only answer here is C. Get the fuck out stat.

Phone a friend?






And phone a friend I did.


Told them the wonderful news. That it was past 1am and I was trapped in a park with only shadows as friends. That I couldn’t see a damn thing. And if they had any sort of advice whatsoever. That would be grand.


Suddenly I                and screamed.



“…What’s wrong?!”

“Shhh….they’re coming…”

“…Who’s coming??”


“Shh…there’s a van with 4 men inside and I’m about to pass it. So I’m hiding…Shit they keep looking at me. Just stay on the phone.”


“What is wrong with you.”


“Are they talking to you?! Don’t talk to them!”

“They see me. I don’t have a choice. I need to defend myself.”

“I really feel like survival is just not on your priority list. Ever.”








My friend was a blind witness to the supposed insanity that was going on around me in this abandoned park in the middle of the night. They were under the impression I was battling 4 men with weapons in front of my very eyes. When really…






“Okay they’re gone. I took care of it.”

“What? How did you take care of it?”






It really wasn’t until the next day that I explained to my friend that during that entire 6 minute episode….






I was sitting indian style next to an azalea bush, just being…dramatic.


There I was

No van. No men. No conversation.

Just a confused wasian performing an unwarranted monologue in Tompkins Square Park at 1:30 am.





My apologies.




Once my monologue came to a closing. I stood back up and reconvened my  original goal of getting the fuck out.


“Have you tried…climbing the fence, Olive? Maybe?”


Light bulb.


I marched over to the 6 foot fence barrier.

        s          s

  o                          e

t                                           d my belongings over the fence, told my friend to hold on and began to climb in this:

Wear to a birthday dinner, cocktail event, or climbing 6 foot fences! On sale now!


And this:

An ill-advised hiking shoe


Bystanders on the latter side of the fence were only slightly concerned and not at all helpful whilst witnessing a 5’1 girl in stilettos hover atop a 6 foot chained fence without  any certainty on how to…get





I decided to just leap and take my chances.

Perfect landing.

on my face.





I gathered my belongings from the floor. Hung up on my friend without any explanation. And moseyed over to meet my long-lost friend.


And when they inquired about my tardiness,


I blamed it on elongated conversation at my previous location  and untimely walk signals along the way.


Leaving out entirely that I was just recently airborne from leaping off of a 6 foot fence and the terrible decisions that occurred directly before it.


And realizing that sometimes.


Some things are just better left unsaid…and perhaps undone.