I arrive at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at the edge of Riverside Park as the morning sun creeps across the tree-lined square. A youthful horde mills around the base of the massive marble edifice. Animated by eagerness and excitement, some of them run up the ornamental terraces of the monument wall, turn, and leap off; others gambol across the grounds. I watch a 17-year-old boy dart along the edge of a low wall, jump, and hit the ground in a somersault. Another teen sprints up the trunk of a tree, grabs a branch, swings, and lands running. Boys bound up the monument staircase and jump off, slapping the ground as they land. All around me, young men (and one woman) run, leap, vault, and somersault off, over, and onto balustrades, benches, staircases, trees, fountains, and each other, while one boy scales the monument itself, reaching dizzying heights... More >>>
By photo: Fred Askew
Park life: A traceur rides the concrete waves of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.