Going round, getting merry

With all the carousels in this town, it’s obvious New Yorkers like going around in circles. Fortunately, I do, too.

Since moving to New York, I’ve had the opportunity to become better acquainted with a toy I experienced only once in Washington, D.C.: the carousel. I rode the carousel on the Mall one time, and, as I recall, I enjoyed it quietly. Here in New York, there are all sorts of carousels for me to try out. Whenever I ride a carousel, I try to focus on the experience and make note of anything that sets this particular ride apart from the others. Because of my careful study, I’m prepared to offer a review for this issue of our magazine.

The most famous carousel in New York is the one in Central Park. Daddy took me there a few weeks after we moved here. It was a hot day during the week, so it wasn’t too crowded—excellent! I got my choice of horses. They are brightly colored, not old and dingy-looking; and they run four across. The best part is that they all move up and down, which makes it nearly impossible to make a disappointing choice. The music was sort of standard. I can’t say it was bad music, but it’s not the major selling point. One of my favorite things about the Central Park Carousel was the fact that a photographer walked around and took our picture before the ride started, and Daddy bought a copy of the picture. Now I can look at it any time, and it always makes me smile.

A beautiful ticket from Jane’s Carousel here in Brooklyn.
A beautiful ticket from Jane’s Carousel here in Brooklyn.

We also spotted a carousel near the Brooklyn Bridge: Jane’s Carousel, which just opened a little while ago. It’s old, but very nicely restored. The horses are not as brightly colored, but they do have a lot of interesting details, like flowers in their manes and big teeth. They have very nice tickets with pictures of different horses on them. But the best part of Jane’s is its environs. They built a house with glass walls for the carousel, so it’s always well-lit, and since it’s right next to the river, there’s a pretty view. I could see birds flying around outside and boats going up and down the river.

I have ridden the Bryant Park Carousel a few times now, because they sell a ten-ride pass—perfect for a carousel aficionado like myself. This one is interesting because, along with the usual horses, there are other animals to ride as well: a rabbit, a frog, a cat, and some other animals that I don’t remember. They also play French cabaret music during the ride. Before and after riding, you can relax or play at some little tables and chairs—the ambiance is great. Even though it’s a small carousel, it’s quite a nice experience.

There are more carousels for me to check out, and I’m sure I’ll approach them with the same excitement I’ve approached the others. So far, though, my vote goes to Jane’s, and I don’t think I’m the only one—it seems pretty popular with other kids, too. I’m glad I live in a city with so many options for horse (or rabbit or cat) riding.

This article appeared on page 13 of Issue 4 | October 2011.

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