Figueroa-Levin: It's grilling season and the garbage is growing
With Memorial Day come and gone, we are unofficially in the summer season. For many, that means barbecue season.
I love barbecue season. I drag my grill, a cooler full of meat, and a bag of coal to the spot in Inwood Hill Park where barbecuing is allowed and make a day of it. A few friends and I also do barbecue brunch. Ever had grilled croissant French toast? It tastes like everything you've done in your life until that moment has been a lie and that your true calling is grilling breakfast foods.
Unfortunately, too many people who barbecue fail to follow the pretty simple rules that ensure everyone gets to enjoy the park. They drive their cars into the park on the walking paths to transport massive gas grills, and what appears to be the entire backroom of a catering hall. They play loud music (if I can't hear the conversation happening right next to me and I'm across the field, your music is too loud). They drink a lot of alcohol.
Worst of all, however, they don't clean up.
Every weekend the park gets covered in trash from people who refuse to pick up after themselves. Beer bottles litter the path. Coolers with broken wheels are abandoned. Helium balloons tied to trees as decorations hang limp a few inches off the ground.
Is it so hard to pick up after yourself? How drunk do you have to get to forget that the park's maintenance workers aren't maids? There are garbage cans. Everywhere. There's probably one 10 steps away from you. Put your trash in there. Do you have a lot? Pretend you're civilized and think ahead for once. Bring some trash bags to haul it out. On foot.
If you need a car to drag everything down from your apartment, try making some friends who can help bring stuff.
And don't dump your coal into the water. Coal isn't part of the river's natural ecosystem. See those big red drums that say COAL on the side? Dump your coal there. Then go to a library and take a literacy class so you can read the rest of the clearly posted rules.
We all like to say that the park is our back yard, but it isn't really. It's a public park. For the public. The public that doesn't want you getting drunk and throwing trash all over its backyard.
Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican, @EveryGentrifier and @ElBloombito.