I went for a walk in the park the other day, since the weather was so beautiful. My neighborhood has a nice, sprawling park with a little pond in the middle that is often inhabited by ducks. Because it was such a beautiful day, there were tons of people out enjoying spring.
I walked through the park, admiring the trees and flowers and animals that were all around. And I people watched.
I saw tons of families with kids enjoying the park. I saw friends and couples walking. I saw people with their pets. But something really struck me about what I saw.
As I walked into the entrance to the park, there were lots of Orthodox families milling around. Men with their black hats and suits. Women in long skirts and long sleeves. Little boys with yarmulkes and peyos. Little girls with dresses and knee socks. Babies in carriages. Picnics, fishing, playing, rollerblading. Everyone is on break for Pesach, and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
I continued walking through the park and the population became more tan. Tons of Hispanic families milling around. A soccer game with very impressive players had ensued. Little boys running and playing in shorts and T-shirts. Little girls running and swinging. Babies in carriages. Picnics, fishing, playing, rollerblading. Everyone is on Spring Break and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
One park. The same activities. The big difference was dress code (and language). No interacting. No mixing. One park.
I thought a lot about it as I was walking home. I kinda understand it. Kinda. But it makes me sad.