A State of Mind

By Carlos Trujillo

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Overcast met the sky as I wandered down a winding cobble stone path in Central Park.

A brisk whiff of Atlantic air meets my face, as I approach 72nd Street and notice the beautiful sound ringing out from the ground beneath me. It’s an accordion, and the

An angel adorns the top of a fountain in Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace. It is March, and the figid New York air signals it is much too early for waters to return to the fountain. The picturesque terrace is located near 72nd street in the heart of Manhatten. (Photo by Carlos Trujillo)

beautiful echo of its instrumentation trick my ears into believing the sound is reverberating off the towering high-rises of Manhattan themselves

I look around and a beautiful angel, standing atop a fountain in the plaza below, catches my attention.

As I descend down one of two massive sandstone stairways, I take some time to adore the intricate series of birds etched into their facades. It is a work worthy of adorning the Garden of Eden itself.

I have entered the Bethesda Terrace in the heart of Central Park. This fountain has made some popular appearances in many movies, television shows, and video games, but today it stands for me and a handful of other visitors at the terrace.

The angel stares into a concrete underpass wedged between the two staircases defending into the plaza. As I turn around, I see an accordion player making the most of the crisp acoustics of the concrete pavilion.

Accordian player, Wei Li Xiao, plays for a small audience in the concrete underpass of the Bethesda Terrace. The architectural pavillion is a coveted spot among local street performers due to its crisp acoustics. The drama of Xiao’s playing adds a significant feel of serenity to the Central Park terrace. (Photo by Carlos Trujillo)

A homeless man, huddled in a corner on the opposite side, and a young woman are her audience this morning.

Wei Li Xiao has been playing since she was a child. Today she is an instructor of the accordion, and frequently visits Central Park to play for it’s visitors.

Her beautiful playing adds to the serenity of the terrace, and I am instantly transported to another place in time.

“New York,” I whisper to myself. “It’s a state of mind.”


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