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Friday, August 07, 2009


When I was young, a popular refrain from my mother was, "No daughter of mine will be gallivanting all over town." This meant my sister, of course, who was easily bored and quite social and mobile at a very young age, earning herself the nickname "the roadrunner."

So I grew up believing that gallivanting must have been an accidental omission in the list of deadly sins or biblical commandments. Certainly there was nothing worse than to gallivant - the mere expression of youthful freedom appeared to be a mortal sin. Let's not even imagine the things a girl might actually do while gallivanting. Even worse, at night.

Without parental controls, what better time and place to gallivant with your friends than New York City at night? With the recent restoration of Washington Square Park, the fountain now sports a massive center plume and powerful side jets and has been a center for late night revelry, virtually without concern for temperature or rain. It has become a theater for bravado - will you take the challenge and go in with your street clothes on? They do, and they get soaking wet, with spectators watching in amusement. I saw a girl moon the audience and a man do a head stand on the steel grate over the center plume. More photos here.

There is squealing, shrieking, dancing, splashing, and jumping. The cavorting and play appears to be the most fun anyone has ever had. I don't know whether this is a case of pure joy or if there is an element of the classic "stolen watermelon tastes best." Some of these girls must know how much their mothers would be disappointed if they knew their daughters were out late at night gallivanting :)


Anonymous said...

In my country we never see something like that at the parks. Many things are different here in New York city.

m.fletcher said...

Too bad most types of inhabitive frolicking occurs after a few heavy doses of alcohol; maybe that's what you mother meant by "gallivanting";)

marina said...

hey i`m marina all the way from buenos aires just to say that i`m loving your blog. hopefully i´ll be around ny soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi from London!

Gallivanting - a word I used a lot while I was in Scotland!

Anna said...

Gallivanting was a word I loved to hear growing up. To me it meant a wonderful day filled with unknown my parents loved to take the whole family gallivanting on Sunday afternoons. We never knew where we would end up but it was always an adventure!
Even now members of our family use it when we head out to do a little of this and a little of that, with no set plan.

Brian Dubé said...

m. fletcher - alcohol was assuredly part of the gallivanting.
marina - thanks.
1ondoncalling - surprised to hear it was used in the UK.
Anna - My family now uses it positively also - especially when applied to their own activities.

tapirgal said...

Great post, and lots of fun. I loved your text :)