There are still brownstones for purchase in New York, if you have the funds, that come with keys to a private park. 221a is such a brownstone.

She brings him to the park everyday. The other park mothers say “Home-schooled. Somewhere on the Autism Scale.” He seems a sad child.* Not mistreated. She constantly talks and encourages him. Just far away, in an unhappy space.

Young and pretty, she wears her hair short. But her designer dressmakers clothe her in long, flowing frocks reminiscent of centuries past.

On weekends, he joins the two in the park. He is always impeccably tailored in chic casual. With wire-rimmed glasses, trim beard and mustache, the park mothers find him most handsome. “And those eyes,” they say. “So hypnotic.” He is older than his wife (“his second” the mothers guess).

His parents play games with the boy, or each take a hand and walk their son around the park. Sometimes, they stop and kiss above his head. “So much in love,” the park mothers say.

The couple entertains less than others in the houses that square the park. But their dinner parties are lively affairs; he is a mesmerizing story teller, and she an excellent and exotic cook. Champagne,** fine wine and artisan beer compliment meals from all cultures and culinary heritages.

No one is sure what his career is. Conductor. Broadway. Composer. Professor. In music, definitely. He is always humming Rachmaninoff, Glass, show tunes, movie scores, or pieces yet to be famous.

* Sad Child in which Dr. Teagarten “acquires” a son.

** Champagne Love in which Maxie falls under Dr. Teagarten’s spell.

Image: Gramercy Park Hotel


@ my frilly Freudian slip